Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Buergbrennen!

Sonndeg, 14 Februar.

Just a quick post today from Luxembourg, where people are celebrating Valentine's Day by burning giant crosses.

No, really! For Luxembourgers, today is not only Valentine's Day; it also happens to be a beloved tradition called Buergbrennen. And although I am celebrating a typically American Valentine's Day (read: eating chocolate and watching chick flicks with girl friends), I thought it might be fun to tell you a little more about how the average Luxembourger is spending their 14 February.

Traditionally celebrated in parts of France, Germany, and Belgium, this holiday is now celebrated in Luxembourg on the first Sunday of Lent, Buergsonndeg. Despite these religious associations, Buergbrennen originated as a pagan festival that marked the annual triumph of spring over winter. Today, locals gather together to construct Buergen, massive bonfires topped with wooden crosses, and to eat traditional food. Then, as the sun sets, they then march in a torchlight procession and set fire to the Buergen, using the flames to chase away winter and mark the beginning of spring!

PS. Is this not strange enough for you? Then check out the town of Remich, which marks the beginning of Lent with the burning of a straw person. The Luxemburger Wort has the scoop!

1 comment: