Léiffrawëschdag An almost forgotten feast of harvest

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In August, it is the flowering season in the countryside and harvesting time is approaching. In the olden days, Luxembourgers would gather in mid-August to have a range of plants on which they depended blessed by the local priest, hoping for a plentiful harvest. In the village  of  Greiveldange - in the Moselle region - this day known as Léiffrawëschdag is always the perfect opportunity to organise a proper popular festival.

A feast of harvest

What lies behind the name Léiffrawëschdag? For that day (Dag in Luxembourgish), people prepare a sheaf or Wësch, made up of different herbs, grains and garden vegetables. The Wësch can be made up of 35 herbs, vegetables and grains.

The Wësch was then blessed as part of a religious ceremony, followed by a procession in the honour of the Virgin Mary (Léif Fra). The Wësch was then hung in the stable where it was meant to protect the cattle.

© SIP / Marc Schoentgen

In former times, this tradition that coincides with Assumption Day on 15th August was observed in all villages. Only a few villages still practice the blessing of herbs today, including the village of Greiveldange in the Moselle region. The feast of Greiveldange's inhabitants enjoys a certain amount of recognition.

In fact, the villagers of Greiveldange brought the Léiffrawëschdag back to life. This beautiful small village in the Moselle region attracts thousands of visitors each year and mobilises local associations, including the non-profit association Greiweldenger Leit, to animate the streets of the village for the enjoyment of the young and old alike.

Concerts and gastronomical delights

The festivities start as follows:  a mass is celebrated before lunchtime, during which a sheaf of herbs is blessed.

Then, a lunchtime meal made up of typically Luxembourgish dishes: roast ham, broad beans and potatoes with bacon, Wënzerteller (vintner's plate: ham, sausage, cheese, paté, aspic...),  paired with wines and sparkling wines of local wine estates and producers - it is the Moselle after all!

Throughout the day, various craftsmen present and sell their bucolic creations, among others, as part of a handicraft market. Various tastings of local produce also await you. Guests can enjoy an extensive music programme and old-fashioned games late into the night. And it's all free of charge!