Like our neighbours, Luxembourgers love to celebrate Carnival. Between Candlemas Day (Liichtmëssdag on 2 February) and Ash Wednesday (Äschermëttwoch, in early March) Luxembourg lives the craziest season of the year.
Masked balls, parades and cavalcades for both children and adults are organised by Luxembourgish associations, ensuring the proper amusement of everyone who likes to celebrate Carnival. Almost every village in Luxembourg organises at least one ball, transforming Luxembourg’s streets into a giant festive area with food, drinks and fun.
Cavalcades and masked balls everywhere you look!
Over the entire Carnival period, the associations in the Grand Duchy organise several cavalcades, complete with music, food and drinks, in order to celebrate Carnival properly.
The best-known cavalcades throughout Luxembourg are those in:
Even though all cavalcades are child-friendly, one especially for children takes place every year in Kayl.
Masked balls on the other hand will take place in almost every village, town or city in Luxembourg, from children’s balls in most villages to the bigger parties in, for instance, Echternach, Vianden or Wormeldange, whose notoriety reaches beyond the borders of the country.
Come for the mood, stay for the food
The several balls, parades and cavalcades throughout Luxembourg do not only offer amusement and the celebration of Carnival, but also include a multitude of typical Luxembourgish Carnival snacks and pastries such as:
- Verwurrelt Gedanken (literally: scrambled thoughts) – knots of pastry sprinkled with icing sugar;
- Nonnefäscht (literally: nuns’ farts) — doughnuts sprinkled with icing sugar;
- Täertelcher — doughnuts,
- Maisercher – mouse-shaped donuts, and
- Stretzegebäck – small cakes made of pastry that is scalded before being baked.
Hold on to your tie!
Luxembourg’s Carnival period is rife with special days and events to watch out for:
Fat Thursday opens this list. On this Thursday before Carnival Sunday, the rather fatty culinary specialties described above are traditionally served. However, its notoriety comes from the fact that gangs of dressed-up women will be roaming the streets of many of Luxembourg’s major carnival towns. If you happen to stumble upon one of them, and you are wearing a tie, chances are that you will have it cut off among cheers and laughter.
On Carnival Sunday (Fuessonndeg) and Carnival Monday (Fuesméindeg), Luxembourg’s calendar is filled with cavalcades and masked balls.
It all ends on Äschermëttwoch, when the people in Remich, a town on the Moselle, burn an effigy of winter on the bridge spanning the river. This straw man (Stréimännchen) is replaced by a straw woman (Stréifrächen) in leap years.
However, contrary to our German neighbours, Luxembourgers don't take this official ending of the Carnival period too seriously. Indeed, many balls and cavalcades can still take place later during the season.