What is the Luxembourg Carnival (Fuesent) about?
Did you miss the opportunity to dress up for Halloween last October or was your costume so good that you want to show it off again? Join the festivities of the Luxembourg Carnival (Fuesent) that has all the makings of a great party: dressing up, fun music and wonderful treats!
The Luxembourg Fuesent starts on Candlemas Day (Liichtmëssdag) on February 2nd and ends on Ash Wednesday (Äschermëttwoch), which falls on March 5th this year. Fuesent is the season to act out and have fun before the abstinence of Lent (Faaschtenzäit) starts on Äschermëttwoch.
Ech loosse mer et nach eng Kéier gutt goen! I’m enjoying life one more time! (Lit.: I’m letting it go well one more time)
Years ago, in the small villages of Luxembourg, the young men used to dress up on Fuesméindeg or Fuesdënschdeg (Monday, March 3rd and Tuesday, March 4th, 2014) and go from house to house to collect eggs that were then used by the women (of a different farm each year) to make pancakes (Paangecher), waffles (Eisekuchen, Wafelen), fried dough balls (Nonnebréidercher, Fuesbréidercher) and fried pastry knots (Verwurrelter). When I was a kid, one encompassing word for all those treats was enough to get me excited: Fueskichelcher (Carnival cookies). Don’t forget to stop by a local bakery to try some of these treats:
Kann ech e Pond Verwurrelter kréien, w.e.g.? Can I have a pound of fried pastry knots, please?
Nowadays, the spirit of Fuesent is still very much alive in Luxembourg, though the traditions have changed a bit.
A lot of local parties are organized for adults and children alike around this time of year. The music is usually performed live by a Carnival band, such as this one. The party itself is called Fuesbal and generally speaking, is much more fun if you buy or make a costume and dance to the fun carnival music. A quick google of the words “Fuesbal + your town” or “Fuesbal 2014” should give you all the details you need to take in the festivities.
Fuesent is also the season during which many local clubs (such as the fire station) organize a procession (en Ëmzuch) through the streets of a town to raise money. These Carnival parades or cavalcades sometimes involve the whole town. You can find a list of them on Visit Luxembourg.
Here is some more useful vocabulary to make the most of this season:
sech verkleeden = to dress up (yourself)
Ech verkleede mech als Hex = I’m dressing up as a witch.
Als wat hues du dech verkleet? What did you dress up as?
e Fuesbok = someone who is dressed up for Carnival
e Fuescostume = a Carnival costume
lëschteg sinn = to be in a good mood, to be happy (and maybe slightly silly)