Get ready to hear some noisy children on Maudy Thursday (April 14th), it is on this day that the Luxembourg children associated with service groups such as the scouts or church groups take to the streets with their noisemakers. Wooden rattles and similar simple wooden contraptions appear for purchase in the shops and parents indulge their children at this special time of year. The children’s noisemaking is replacing the Church bells that during this time cease to ring. It is said that the bells fall silent as they have left the country and flown to give confession in Rome. Although they are not gone long, during their 3 day absence on Good Friday, Saturday and Easter Sunday, it is left to the children to call church goers to services. In return the children receive rewards for all their hard and deafening work, receiving easter eggs, sweet treats and coins.
Easter Sunday Symbol of Love (17 April)
Ladies, if you received a pretzel on Bretzelsonndeg, from a person you love (or even like a bit) tradition dictates that you must give them a painted egg or chocolate on Easter Sunday (Sunday 17 April) and can go on a lover’s walk with them. If you’re just not that into them, you can give them an empty basket, which is basically the symbol for getting dumped!
Note that on a leap year the tradition is reversed and the men receive pretzels and ladies the eggs! Don’t forget that in two years (2024) it will be a leap year, so if your lady gives you a pretzel on Pretzel Sunday as a symbol of love; then at Easter, if you return the love, you must offer her a painted or chocolate Easter egg!
Emaischen (Easter Monday, 18 April)
On Easter Monday in Luxembourg, we celebrate the Emaischen. This traditional pottery market takes place in Luxembourg Ville and the other in Nospelt to the west of the city. The markets are popular and stalls packed with pottery line the streets. The market itself can be dated back to 1827 and takes its name from the town of Emmaus, a town connected to the Easter celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. The overwhelming star of the Emaischen is the Péckvillercher, the special pottery whistling birds. These charming birds come in different shapes and sizes and each year a special edition is created and collected.
City Centre: this is an extremely popular market so expect cremant, beer, sausages, folk dancers and jostling crowds. The main part of the market is in the small square of the Fishmarket.
Fishmarket (Fëschmaart) behind the Palace of the Grand Duke and is open until 6pm. Make sure you don’t miss your chance to start collecting the small whistling birds (Péckvillercher) which are sold on Easter Monday only, and the collectors pieces sell out fast. The Royal Family traditionally make an appearance at the market in the morning, so if you get there early you may spot them.
Nospelt: the celebrations often start over the weekend with music and fun, but the market is on the Monday and the fun continues until late afternoon. See here for more information on Nouspelter Eemaischen.