Ascension Day in Luxembourg
Ascension Day, known as "Christi Himmelfahrt" in Luxembourgish, is a significant Christian festival in Luxembourg. It commemorates the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven, as described in the New Testament. This event is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Sunday and is considered a public holiday in the country.
The date of Ascension Day varies each year, as it depends on the date of Easter. To calculate the date, Easter Sunday is determined based on the first full moon after the vernal equinox, and then Ascension Day is counted 39 days after Easter.
The celebration of Ascension Day in Luxembourg dates back to the early Christian era. As a predominantly Catholic country, Luxembourg has been observing this religious event for centuries. The exact date when the celebration began in the country is not well documented, but it is believed to have been established by the Christian church in the 4th century AD. The tradition of celebrating Ascension Day in Luxembourg continues to this day, with the majority of the population participating in the festivities.
National customs for Ascension Day in Luxembourg
One of the most common customs for Ascension Day in Luxembourg is attending a special mass at the local church. Many people take this opportunity to come together with their families and friends to celebrate the occasion. In some regions, processions are also held where believers carry religious statues and artifacts through the streets, accompanied by music and prayers.
Another tradition in Luxembourg is the "Emaischen," which takes place on Easter Monday and Ascension Day. During this event, people gather in the streets and markets to buy and sell "Péckvillercher," small, colorful, and often hand-painted clay whistles shaped like birds. These whistles are believed to bring good luck and are a popular souvenir during the festivities.
Local customs for Ascension Day in Luxembourg
In addition to the national customs, there are also local customs and traditions that vary across different regions of Luxembourg. One such tradition is the "Octave," a religious event that begins on the third Sunday after Easter and concludes on Ascension Day. During the Octave, a statue of the Virgin Mary, the patroness of Luxembourg, is displayed at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Luxembourg City. Pilgrims from all over the country and neighboring regions come to pay homage and seek blessings from the Virgin Mary.
Another local custom is the "Sprangprocessioun" or "Hopping Procession," which is held in the town of Echternach on Whit Tuesday, the day after Pentecost. This event is closely associated with Ascension Day and the Octave, as it is part of the extended religious festivities during this period. During the procession, participants hop and dance through the streets to the rhythm of a specific tune, paying homage to St. Willibrord, the patron saint of Echternach.
Ascension Day in Luxembourg is a deeply rooted and significant event that brings together the community in a celebration of faith and tradition. From attending church services to participating in processions and buying good luck charms, the people of Luxembourg come together to honor the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. This event showcases the country's rich history and the importance of religion in the lives of its citizens.