Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Definitive Guide to Luxembourgish Christmas Markets

Mëttwoch, 25 November.

There is exactly one month until Christmas ... or Chrëschtdag in Luxembourgish! In honor of this important milestone in the holiday season, I decided to share with you THE MOST EXCITING thing I could possibly think of.

That's right. It's time for my definitive guide to Luxembourgish Christmas Markets.

Luxembourg City.
Of course, the Christmas Market that you simply cannot miss is held in the capital of Luxembourg. Or should I say the Christmas Markets? The city of Luxembourg has several small markets spread throughout the city, but the unmissable spots are Place de la Constitution (which features a large ferris wheel and a dozen or so adorable chalets) and the Place des Armes (which includes a stage and live music).

Visit the Visit Luxembourg website to learn more. Want to learn more about how Luxembourg City celebrates the holidays? Blogger Luxessed has some beautiful photos from Christmas 2014 and this page from the Luxemburger Wort has tons of cute photos from this year's market!

This video from SantaTelevision is bound to put you in the holiday spirit!

The town of Aubange in the southwest of Luxembourg is holding their marché de Noël on the weekend of December 11-13. See more information on their Facebook page.

I've been meaning to go to Clervaux for weeks: they have a beautiful castle, some cool museums, and a famous photography exhibition (within the aforementioned beautiful castle). And on December 13, they'll even have a special Christmas market. Neat!

The city of Diekirch in northern Luxembourg holds an annual Christmas market. It is open on one weekend only so if you want to attend, mark your calendars for December 18-20. Photos from Christmas 2014 are available on the Diekirch tourism website.

Dudelange, a city in the south of Luxembourg, has a rather unique Christmas market tradition! Their Marché de Noël Médiéval comprises both a traditional Christmas market and a medieval village. Unlike some of the country's other markets that open in November, this event lasts only two weeks! This year, you can visit the medieval market from December 11 to 20.

You can check out the event on Facebook and see photos from last year's event on the Dudelange city website.

It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Echternach, the beautiful city in Eastern Luxembourg where you can hike, explore ancient churches and Roman ruins, and walk to Germany. In December, I'll have yet another reason to love this city: the Eechternoacher Chrëstmoart!

Echternach's Christmas market takes place on one weekend only. This year, it will run December 11-13, 2015. The Christmas market will be open on Friday night from 18:00 to 21:30, on Saturday from 11:00 to 21:00, and on Sunday from 11:00 to 20:00. In addition to the market in the town center, Echternach will also host a medieval market in front of the basilica. To learn more about the event, check out their official website:

Echternach Luxembourg Christmas Market

Home, sweet home! The annual Christmas Market in "my" city of Esch-sur-Alzette is called the Escher Krëschtmoart. (Try saying THAT five times fast!). It takes place in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, right in the center of downtown Esch. This year, the market is open every day (from noon to 8:00 pm) beginning on Friday, November 21.

To learn more about this annual tradition, visit the official Escher Krëschtmoart Facebook page.

The city of Ettelbruck will be holding their fortieth annual Christmas Market on the weekend of December 11-13 in the pedestrian heart of the city. For more information, look at the event on Facebook.

Heringer Millen.
The Heringer Millen -- a former granary turned tourist center -- is holding its own Christmas market on December 5 and 6. Check out the event on Facebook.

The city of Mersch is holding its annual Chrëschtmaart on November 28 and 29. You can RSVP on Facebook or visit the commune's official website to see photos from the Mersch Christmas Markets in 2013 and 2014.

According to the Luxemburger Wort, the town of Vianden will hold a Christmas market on the weekend of November 28 and 29. (They have yet to confirm the dates, but as November 28 coincides perfectly with a planned hike through Vianden, I'm going to cross my fingers that these are correct.)

The town of Wiltz is hosting a one-day holiday market during the evening of Friday, December 11. (See all the information on the town's official website.) The town will also host a visit from Saint Nicholas on Sunday, November 29 -- the culmination of a weekend of events in celebration of a new documentary, The American St. Nick, about the American soldiers who threw a Saint Nicholas Day celebration for the children of Wiltz in December 1944. (Click here to learn more about this heartwarming chapter on CNN or watch The American St. Nick trailer here.)

In addition to Christmas markets, many cities in Luxembourg put elaborate nativity scenes -- or creches -- on display during the holiday season. You can find a complete list here.

One of the most interesting things about this list is how much it reveals about the Luxembourgish language! As you might remember, Luxembourgish did not become a standardized language until the 1980s and even now, most native speakers are never taught "correct" Luxembourgish spelling and grammar. In France, Christmas markets are invariably marchés de Noël. In Germany, they are Weihnachtsmärkte. But in Luxembourg, the name seems to differ from town to town! Is it a Chrëstmoart (like in Echternach)? A Krëschtmoart (as in Esch)? Or a Chrëschtmaart (like in Mersch and the Heringer Millen)? Although all the names clearly share a similar origin, the fact that differences in spelling persist is weird fascinating to me!

Of course, Luxembourgers don't limit themselves to Christmas markets within their country! Stay tuned to hear more about the beautiful markets just across the border -- in cities like Metz, Trier, and Brussels. And click here to read all of my posts about Christmas in Francophone Europe.

1 comment:

  1. My gosh you could go to a different Christmas market every weekend and not get to them all! Fascinating!