Buergbrennen signals end of winter

Communes across Luxembourg over the weekend hosted the traditional Buergbrennen in which a bonfire is lit to chase away winter and ring in the start of spring.

The government allowed Buergbrennen to go ahead provided it was organised in line with the coronavirus restrictions in place. This meant no more than 100 people could get together and no food and drink were allowed. For any gatherings of more than 10 people there had to be seats provided and people had to wear masks.

Numerous communes switched to digital events and live streamed their Buergbrennen, with many clips available for replay on social media for anyone who missed out.

The event is hosted the first Sunday after the carnival festivities and symbolises the end of winter, the triumph of light over darkness, and warm over cold. Communes build crosses or castles from wood, often using old Christmas trees, which are set alight.

In 2020, Buergbrennen events were largely cancelled, not because of the pandemic but because of an orange weather alert, with gusts of wind of up to 100km/h. Many communes rescheduled the traditional event from the end of February into March, when the pandemic then interfered.