Luxembourg prides itself on its multiculturalism and its ability to embrace new ideas. It also stays true to its centuries-old traditions, to the delight of Luxembourgers, foreign residents and tourists alike.
The arrival of spring is particular cause for celebration. Fuesend (Carnival) marks the start of the Christian festival of Lent, with fancy-dress parties, street processions and other events held across the country. Bretzels are a special Luxembourgish sweetbread, and Bretzel Sunday was traditionally the moment for lovers to propose marriage.
Prior to this, Liichtmëssdag (Candlemas Day) on 2nd February sees children going from door-to-door singing for sweets and candies, a reminder of the times when the poor would be obliged to beg for food during the depths of winter. At the Buergbrennen festivals, evil winter spirits are banished in village bonfires as local beer and sausages are enjoyed.
Several traditions mark the arrival of the long, warm days of May and June. Octav pilgrimages culminate in the traditional food and games market in Luxembourg City. Unique to Luxembourg is the Dancing Procession of Echternach. Ever since the eighth century locals have performed a curious skipping dance, with this performance now accompanied by local brass and wind bands. For the National Day on 23rd June Luxembourg City in particular buzzes with life. Live concerts and a full-on party atmosphere reigns around the clock during the evening of the 22nd.
The major three week Schueberfouer funfair in the capital heralds the arrival of autumn, an event held since 1340. Afterwards there are numerous village festivals celebrating the grape harvest and wine production. This is not to forget the events marking the arrival of apples, plums and walnuts. Winter features lively Halloween celebrations, and several elaborate Christmas markets open countrywide from late November.