Carnival of Pétange (KaGePe)

Carnival of Pétange (KaGePe)
In most countries, Carnival celebrations are held before Lent and usually culminate on Fat Tuesday, but in Luxembourg festivities can last way into Lent. The Carnival of Pétange, for example, culminates on the fourth Sunday of Lent, known as Bretzelsonndeg (pretzel Sunday).

The Carnival season in Luxembourg (Fuesent) usually begins on Candlemas (February 2). However, while in other countries it would normally end on Fat Tuesday or Ash Wednesday, in many parts of Luxembourg festivities continue to take place during Lent.

The Carnival of Pétange is the oldest and largest Carnival celebration in Luxembourg. The celebration in its current form started in the 1930s, but it was put on a pause during World War II for obvious reasons. The Carnival was revived in 1947 and has been going strong ever since, attracting visitors from all over country and abroad.

The official name of the Pétange Carnival, Karneval Gemeng Péiteng, is often shortened to KaGePe because the letters K, G and P are pronounced “ka”, “ge” and “pe” in Luxembourgish. The Carnival season in Pétange is filled with masked balls, costume parties, and other joyous festivities.

The main parade of the Carnival, called the Cavalcade of Pétange, has been held every year since 1955. It takes place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, known in Luxembourg as Bretzelsonndeg (pretzel Sunday). The tradition of celebrating pretzel Sunday allegedly dates back to at least the 18th century. It is customary for men to offer women they like a pretzel as a gift; if their feelings are reciprocated, they will get an egg on Easter Sunday. On leap years, the roles are reversed.

Every year, the Cavalcade of Pétange has about 1,500 participants and tens of thousands of spectators, locals and tourists alike, who take to the streets to watch the vibrant and colorful procession. Like other Carnival parades around the globe, the Cavalcade features colorful floats, musicians, and revelers in elaborate costumes who spread the joy of the Carnival season. The Carnival procession is followed by a street party with music, dance and theater performances, and traditional foods and drinks, which, of course, include pretzels and beer.

The festivities are presided over by the royal family of the Pétange Carnival. Yes, that’s right: while most Carnivals have just one queen, KaGePe has three pairs of princes and princesses that are elected every year. The royal family consists of two adults, two children, and two infants. The addition of infants is relatively recent – the tradition started in 2017.

Carnival of Pétange





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