It’s party time in Luxembourg! Specifically, carnival or fuesend time. The party was originally kicked off with a good old fashioned Roman orgy held in honor of Bacchus, (the god of wine, theatre, ritual madness, and dancing). Masks were added during the Middle Ages so that partiers could be incognito. Tempted to join in? Perhaps a bit tamer now, here’s the City Savvy list of our favourite carnivals. See you at the parade!
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Less of a parade and more of a party; carnival in Differdange is a 3-day affair with something for hardcore party-goers and families alike. Friday night is a party for adults, then the main Clochard’s-bal is on the Saturday with the Mini-Clochard’s bal for the family from 3pm to 6pm on the Sunday. One of the more expensive balls, but also one of the most fun.
- Don’t miss if: you want to nurse your hangover in the comfort of your home on Sunday, rather than at work on Monday.
When: February 21st-23rd
Boasting a parade of around 1,800 participants, Diekirch pulls in the crowds to watch them (24,000 people attended in 2019) gathering the approximate 6 tonnes of candy. Not as international as Pétange (see below), this is based on the German model of carnival, which means active encouragement to dress-up! Your ticket to watch the parade (€7 on the day; €5 in advance; free for under 12s – sold from retailers in Diekirch), doubles as a raffle ticket, for which the first prize-winner gets 400€. We wish you luck this year!
- Don’t miss if: you’re feeling lucky
When: February 23rd (Parade starts at 2:30pm but get there earlier!)
Remich has a great procession and the price of the ticket is well worth it (particularly if you win the tombola!) What marks Remich out is that they follow the Luxembourg traditions from beginning to end in a unique way; from the Stréimännchen (the burning of a male doll, hung from the bridge in Remich that connects Luxembourg and Germany as a symbol of chasing away winter) on February 26th through to the Buergbrennen (bonfire) . The culmination is that much more special when you’ve been part of every festivity in the town.
- Don’t miss if: you want to participate in all of Luxembourg’s Lent festivities in one historic town.
When: March 22nd; Parade starts at 14:30
The annual carnival celebration in Pétange is called the Karneval Gemeng Péiteng – or in short: Kagepe (KaGePe). If you like it big, with a bit of history attached, this cavalcade is the one for you; it’s the oldest and largest carnival parade in the country. As such, it attracts a great crowd (over 30,000 last year) of both internationals and locals with its vibrant funky program and after-party.
- Don’t miss if: you want to sound truly local’; ‘Yeah, I’m going to the Kagepe this weekend, baby.’
When: Sunday, March 22nd; Parade starts at 14:11. Animations and fun start early – we’d recommend you hit Pétange at least an hour early.
*This information is still being confirmed, check back for updated info
A 2-day extravaganza with fun for everyone! There is an event for the students at the university and a party for families with the children’s carnival and Kapesëtzung Fues-Revue on Saturday. The climax is on the 15th March when the huge parade (60 floats and 45 associations are to take part) sets out. Cheer it on and then get ready for the after-party – you’ll find the adrenaline keeps you going.
- Don’t miss if: you want to experience a whole long weekend of partying.
Where: Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, L-4011 Esch-sur-Alzette. Parade goes via Place Victor Hugo, Rue Victor Hugo, Rue du Nord, Rue du Canal, Rue du Brill, Rue de l’Alzette & Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
When: March 15th; Parade starts at 2:30pm on the Sunday
Don’t forget to sample typical Luxembourgish Carnival goodies*, including:
- Verwurrelt Gedanken (scrambled thoughts) — knots of pastry sprinkled with icing sugar,
- Nonnefäscht (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.
Haven’t listed your favourite carnival? Got a local party that you think everyone should know about? Tell us in the comments and we will add it in – we want this to be the best resource in Luxembourg for you!