Luxembourg has its own version of Halloween and it comes with a hearty side of superstition and old fashioned traditions.
This tradition has its origin in the olden days, when the village boys brought back the cows from the fields to the shed. They used the ‘Trauliichter’ on their way home to show them the way, and placed a lantern on both sides of the entrance to the shed doors. If the cows entered between both lanterns then they would be free of any sickness. It also was used to chase away all the ghosts that had gathered during the summer months.
Long before Irish emigrants headed for the United States around 1830, taking along their original popular All Saints’ Day traditions, people from the local Ardennes regions were placing ‘Trauliichter’ in streets, windows and cemeteries. It became a common belief in those days that on the night of the 31st of October, the souls of the dead would come back.
After these events, Luxembourg developed a tradition which they refer to as “Trauliicht.” This is when the people of the community put out beets that are decorated with frightening faces. They light their Trauliicht with a candle, and leave them on windows of their houses to protect themselves from the deceased and evil spirits.
Luxembourg’s traditional “trauliichtwochen” (beetroot week) takes place this year from 20 October to 2 November at the Robbesscheier Tourist Center. As an ancestral tradition, the beetroot week consists in parading in the streets with “Traulichter,“ i.e. beet home-made lanterns reproducing scary faces. With this, we chase away the bad spirits of Autumn and Winter to be in good health for Spring.
This year, the “Dag vum Trauliicht,” i. e. the procession and activities of the Trauliichtwochen, will take place specifically on Saturday 26 and Thursday 31 October.