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Easter 2018 and 2019

Easter in Luxembourg is, in many ways, like Easter in other parts of the world, but Luxembourg also has a number of Easter traditions that are unique to it alone or to the Luxembourg and the surrounding areas in Belgium, France, and Germany.

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As Luxembourg is 70 percent Roman Catholic, Catholic traditions specifically are often followed, but again, there is still much that is unique.

Even if secularism is strong in Luxembourg, nonetheless, Easter time sees large numbers of people attend special services at church. Not only is this so on Easter Sunday, but also on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday, which makes four consecutive days for the most devout. Easter Monday is also a public holiday in Luxembourg, but it is more of a social than religious holiday.

The Easter Bunny and Easter egg painting and hunts are no strangers to Luxembourg. Dying hard-boiled eggs is still an Easter tradition with many families, but chocolate eggs now predominate. In fact, the people of Luxembourg consume huge quantities of chocolate annually, far more than in most other countries. The Easter Bunny is said to bring the eggs, but in reality, parents hide them in homes and in gardens, arranged inside miniature nests instead of baskets.

Once children have found their eggs, it is time for them to engage in “egg battles,” called “tecken.” Eggs are knocked against each other, and whoever has their egg crack first loses it to their opponent.

On Maundy Thursday, on which day the Last Supper is remembered, the church bells stop after the final “Gloria” of the special mass. They are said to have flown off to Rome to confess their sins and get the Papal blessing. Until they return on Easter Morning, children will go about town with a wooden rattle, called a “klibber,” shaking it and singing out a special rattling song to take the place of the missing bells. In return for their performance, people often give them Easter eggs or small amounts of money.

For those visiting Luxembourg around Easter time, some activities to consider taking part in are:

  • Visit the “old quarter” of Luxembourg City or the western village of Nospelt for the Eimaischen. In English, the term means “Feast of Emmaus,” and it commemorates the appearance of Jesus alive to two of His disciples on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus after His Resurrection. The main events are pottery-making demonstrations and buying small bird-shaped, clay whistles known as “peckvillerchers.”
  • Eat a Luxembourg pretzel. On Pretzel Sunday, during Lent, soft pretzels topped with icing and almonds are given by beaus to young ladies. If the pretzel is accepted, the young man is allowed to visit her come Easter Sunday and get an Easter egg back in return. You can just eat the pretzel, however, and if you wish, other treats you will find at local bakeries.
  • Take the kids on an Easter egg hunt. There are many to choose from, including one in Bambesch put on by the British Ladies Club and another in Preisch Castle, where thousands of eggs are hidden along with one golden egg. Whoever finds the golden egg wins a 5 kilogram (10.5 pound) supply of chocolate.

Celebrating Easter in Luxembourg offers a unique experience for the tourist and a memorable look at some interesting Luxembourgian traditions.