Meekranz and Labour Day May Day: sign of spring and trade unions

From Labour Day gatherings, to barbecues with friends and family, to the Meekranz and Maitrank traditions celebrated across the country: 1 May is the day for get-togethers in Luxembourg!

Wreaths of leaves to welcome springtime

On 1 May, to celebrate the arrival of spring and the sunny season, wreaths of green foliage appear all over the villages and towns of Luxembourg. They are made by local associations or individuals to decorate homes, local government buildings or other public places.

In the past, actual maypole trees were erected, but nowadays many Luxembourgers simply braid their Meekranz with young twigs picked from the forest.

As the weather is often good on this holiday, many Luxembourgers take the opportunity to see each other. Whether you are invited to a barbecue or to one of the many local festivals, make the most of the good weather and the friendly atmosphere!

To celebrate the day, we like to toast with a glass of Maitrank. 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.

It is also customary to offer a sprig of lily of the valley to your loved ones on May 1st. This fragrant flower with its many white bells symbolises the return of spring and fine weather. It is offered as a good luck charm. 

© Alain Schleich

Trade Union events

May Day, Labour Day, is also a day of international importance. In Luxembourg, one remembers the struggle led by the free trade unions for social achievements, in particular the regulation of working hours, paid holidays and the social protection of employees.

The agenda of the trade union celebrations therefore includes a public reminder of the current demands of the various associations. These events often recall popular festivals.

Good to know!

The Festival of Labour andFest der Arbeit und der Kulturen | OGBL Cultures at Neimënster 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.

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