Throughout the Grand Duchy, people are starting to prepare for the end-of-year festivities. Everyone decorates their home, the front of their house, and their front door, and artfully wraps the carefully chosen presents or organises the Christmas meal with family and friends. Luxembourg City is also preparing itself, with its entrancing 'Winterlights' festival.
From22 November 2016 to 8 January 2017, '"Winterlights' immerses the city centre in a wonderful fairytale setting lit by a multitude of lights – nearly 200,000, to be more exact! –, the wooden chalets of its attractive Christmas markets, plus concerts, exhibitions, shows and children's activities. It's a happy, colourful festival for people of all ages!
Keep your eyes open!
This year, in addition to the traditional festoons and lights, a number of new lights will be decorating various streets in the city centre, taking the form of cylinders, clouds and curtains. It's worth noting that the bulbs used for the city's winter lighting are either LEDs or low-consumption bulbs. All to make the most of the magical-looking decorations set up by the City of Luxembourg.
The city-centre Christmas markets
From 23 November to 24 December, at 5 p.m., find your way around the food specialties, handmade goods, toys, a big wheel, a giant pyramid, chalets, craft work, a carousel, a Portuguese village, and lots of other activities - we leave it to you to discover them. The attractive wooden chalets transform the city centre into a life-size Christmas village
The five main Christmas markets are to be found at:
- Place de la Constitution;
- Place d'Armes;
- Place de Paris;
- in the Grund district.
You'll be able to enjoy local specialties such as Glühwäin (mulled wine), Luxringer (white sausages), Mettwurscht (Luxembourgish sausages) and Gromperekichelcher (potato cakes).
The city-centre Christmas markets are open every day, including Sundays.
Christmas markets throughout the Grand Duchy
Luxembourg City is not the only place getting ready for Christmas, of course. in the runup to Christmas, a host of markets will spring up all over the Grand Duchy. The best known are:
- the Christmas market in Differdange (2 to 23 December 2016);
- the medieval Christmas market in Dudelange (9 to 18 December 2016);
- the Christmas market in Esch-sur-Alzette (18 November to 23 December 2016);
- the Christmas market in Diekirch (17 and 18 December 2016).
The Luxembourg Light Nights
One of the highlights of the season are the Luxembourg Light Nights, on 8, 9 and 10 December 2016, from 6 to 11 p.m. They will be launched officially at 7.45 p.m. on 8 December 2016, in the presence of TRH the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, on the facade of the Grand Duke's palace.
For its second edition, the City of Luxembourg's light show will be projected in three different places: on the grand ducal palace, on the square in front of the National Library, and in the judicial quarter (cité judiciaire).
Lots of other festivities
For the full list of all the festivities, visit the website of the'Winterlights'. Here are just a few to give you an idea:
- Pierre Bardet's 8.5-metre tall blue tree will carry you off to the blue-tinged world of winter on the Place Guillaume II, from 5 p.m. on 22 November until 8 January 2017;
- the 500-sq.m. 'Knuedler on Ice' skating rink will be open every day on the Place Guillaume II;
- the Solidarity Market at the Roude Pëtz will open on 23 November, enabling associations to collect funds for their charitable work;
- St Nicholas will process through the streets of Luxembourg City from 1.30 to 5 p.m. on 4 December 2016; a float of angels, the carriage of Père Fouettard (the bogeyman who accompanies St Nicholas), snowmen, Boy Scouts, junior firefighters, bands and the Péitruss Express will all be there to accompany St Nicholas);
- markets of all kinds: market for foodies, second-hand market, flea markets, markets selling local produce, and the St Nicholas and Advent markets.
Shops open on Sundays!
Starting on 27 November then on 4, 11 and 18 December, shops in the city centre will be more than pleased to help you with your Christmas shopping. Click here for a list of which shops will be open. And buses will be free on those Sundays.
And lastly, if you are looking for a Christmas tree, here are the five main places you can buy one in the city centre:
- Rue du Fort Elisabeth;
- Place du Parc, in Bonnevoie;
- Place Saints Pierre & Paul, in Hollerich;
- the Champ du Glacis;
- at the entrance to the park in Merl.