With the Schueberfouer opening Friday, Wort.lu/en unearthed a few fun facts about the fair. For example, did you know that chip-shop “Fiture Joselet” goes through around one tonne of potatoes a day? Read on for more.
A tonne of potatoes
“Friture Joselet” is one of the oldest restaurants at the Fouer and rather than using frozen chips they make their fries fresh every day. Around one tonne of potatoes is turned into the deepfried goodies every day. Two machines are at hand for the job – one for the peeling the other for the cutting of the potatoes.
33 minutes without electricity
In 2004, visitors at the Fouer had to be rescued from rides after a power cut left the entire country without electricity for 33 minutes, caused by a technical fault at German energy company RWE.
214 tonnes of rubbish
Around 214 tonnes of rubbish were collected at last year’s Fouer, not including recycling, which added another 34 tonnes of glass, 14 tonnes of paper, 9 tonnes of biodegradable waste and 575 “Valorlux” bin bags to recycle plastic, cans and beverage cartons.
Bellevue electricity consumption
During the three weeks that it operates at the Fouer, the Bellevue Ferris wheel consumes around the same amount of electricity as a four-person household in an entire year. The 55-metre tall Ferris wheel needs the electricity for its motor but also the roughly 50,000 light bulbs illuminating it.
The “Bayern Kurve”
The “Bayern Kurve” ride made its worldwide debut in 1965, designed by German engineer Anton Schwarzkopf. In 1968 one of its specimen was added to the Fouer, and has been coming back ever since. At the beginning of the 2000s it was completely overhauled. Only around 50 “Bayern Kurve” rides remain operational today.
Welcome to the Fouer
One of the first things to go up at the Fouer every year is the welcome sign. The current edition has been used since 2007 and was designed by Rik Van den Kerchove.
It measures 18 times 18 metres and was inspired by the tales of 1001 nights. It is set to remain in use for another two to three years and now also serves as a tribute to Kerchove, who passed away in June 2015 .
Two million visitors
Every year, it is said that around two million visitors make their way to the Fouer. But how is that number calculated? According to mayor Lydie Polfer, some 55,000 people fit onto the Glacis amid the rides, restaurants and stalls.
Based on this, and the assumption that visitors rotate twice, some 165,000 visitors are calculated per day. However, this number is reduced to 100,000 to include days when the Fouer isn’t as busy. Times 20 days, the duration of the Fouer, makes two million visitors every year.
A flock of sheep
Every year a small flock of sheep is herded across the Fouer to mark the start of the funfair.
According to historian Steve Kayser this tradition dates back all the way to 1402 when there was a shooting stand at the Fouer at which the best shot could win a sheep.
The winner then paraded the sheep through town to the sounds of the “Hämmelsmarsch”, the mutton march.
In the early 20th Century, shopkeepers in the capital complained that goods were also being sold at the Fouer, arguing that they were losing out on customers. As a solution, Luxembourg City hosted its first “Braderie” sale in 1929. Since then the “Braderie” is always scheduled to take place on a Monday during the Schueberfouer.
John the Blind
John of Bohemia, also known as John the Blind, was Count of Luxembourg from 1309 and the founder of the Fouer as an annual market for cattle, cloth, pottery and other goods. John died in 1346 at the Battle of Crécy and was buried at Altmünster Abbey in Luxembourg.
During the French Revolution, however, his remains were moved and eventually ended up in Kastel on the German Saar river. It was not until 1946 that John the Blind came back to Luxembourg, where he now lies buried at Notre Dame Cathedral.