Cavalcade Remich

Cavalcade Remich
Many European countries have their unique Carnival traditions and famous Carnivals, and Luxembourg is not an exception. Despite its small size, the country has several notable Carnival celebrations; one of them is Cavalcade Remich (Remich Carnival).

In Luxembourg, the season of pre-Lenten festivities is called Fuesend. It is marked by parties, concerts, parades, masked balls, and other events held throughout the country beginning on Candlemas Day (February 2). The town of Remich in southeastern Luxembourg has several notable Carnival traditions: the burning of a straw effigy (Stréimännchen), a bonfire (Buergbrennen), and a big Carnival parade (Cavalcade Remich).

Interestingly, while in most countries the Carnival festivities end on Shrove Tuesday (Mardi Gras) or Ash Wednesday, in Luxembourg they continue for several weeks into Lent. In Remich, the real fun begins on Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, with the burning of the Stréimännchen that symbolizes the death of winter and the beginning of spring.

The Stréimännchen is a male effigy made of straw; it is carried through the streets of Remich in a dance procession and burned on the bridge across the Moselle River that separates Luxembourg from Germany. On leap years, a female figure called the Stréifrächen’ is burned instead of the Stréimännchen.

The next major event of the Carnival festivities in Remich is Buergbrennen, also known as Buergsonndeg. It is a bonfire night that takes place on the first Sunday of Lent. Buergbrennen is not specific to Remich; bonfires are lit throughout Luxembourg, as well as in the neighboring areas of Germany, France, and Belgium. Buergbrennen usually involves a torchlight procession and traditional food and drinks such as grilled meat, bean soup, pea soup, and mulled wine.

Cavalcade Remich marks the culmination of the festivities. It is held on the fourth Sunday of Lent, called pretzel Sunday (Bretzelsonndeg). Bretzelsonndeg was named so due to a tradition that dates back to at least 18th century: on the fourth Sunday of Lent, men would give women they like pretzels, and if their feelings are reciprocated, they would receive an egg on Easter Sunday. On leap years, the roles are reversed.

Like most Carnival parades around the world, Cavalcade Remich is a colorful procession featuring elaborate floats, musicians, and revelers in bright costumes. And, of course, there’s plenty of food and drinks, including pretzels and beer, served at street stalls and in local pubs. It should be noted that if you want to attend the parade, you need to buy a ticket.

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