May Day – a day to meet up! Union gatherings on the occasion of Labour Day, BBQs together with family and friends – a lot is happening in Luxembourg on this day. However, it's also the traditions of the Meekranz and the Maitrank that are being celebrated on this occasion.
Wreaths of leaves to welcome springtime
On May 1st, wreaths of grass-green foliage are in evidence here and there in towns and villages throughout the Grand Duchy. They welcome the arrival of spring and the sunny season. They are made by local associations or individuals to decorate private homes, local administration buildings or meeting places.
While we used to create proper May trees in the olden days, many Luxembourgers now settle for weaving their Meekranz with young branches from the forest.
As the weather is usually nice, many Luxembourgers meet up during the day. Whether you get an invitation to a BBQ among friends or to one of the many festivities, make the most of the good weather and the relaxed atmosphere!
The Maitrank is a very popular drink on that day. Made with sweet woodruff, it is a refreshing drink that is especially famous in the West of Luxembourg and in the surroundings of Arlon in Belgium.
Trade Union events
As it is Labour Day, May 1st also has an international significance. In Luxembourg, the free trade unions' fight for social rights is touched upon, including the regulation of working hours, paid leave and employees' social protection.
On that day, the various trade unions reiterate their current demands. The day also gives rise to trade union festivities across the country. These events often recall popular festivals.
The Day of Labour and Cultures at the Neumunster Abbey Cultural Exchange Centre (Centre culturel de rencontre) is an event not to be missed. This festival features concerts, workshops for children and shows. It is organised by the trade union known as OGB-L in collaboration with the associations ASTI and ASTM. The public event of the LCGB, another large-scale trade union in Luxembourg, takes place at a different location every year.