Expats join in for Luxembourg’s National Day party

Celebrations are back after having been cancelled or scaled back due the pandemic. In a country where half the population is a foreigner – and three out of four among the working population – the question of how to celebrate Luxembourg’s national holiday takes on a special meaning.

This week, the Grand Duchy witnessed the long-awaited return to a regular celebratory programme of its National Holiday, after the coronavirus pandemic brought activities to a halt for two years.

After the reliably spectacular fireworks – on Wednesday evening – everything from music, marching bands, folks groups and fireworks is what lies ahead for residents of Luxembourg, ex-pats and natives alike on Thursday.

Mané Bakhtamyan, who arrived in Luxembourg from Armenia a few years ago, says she found it “quite amusing” that a country would celebrate the birthday of its monarch, rather than, say its independence day.

Still, she enjoys wishing her “homeboi the Grand Duke” happy birthday.

Celebrating your new country’s national holiday can be a great way to integrate and get to know its traditions and culture – and have a lot of fun.

Maurice Hickey, who came to Luxembourg from Ireland 20 years ago, said he enjoyed the “wonderful party atmosphere on the liveliest night of the year” as well as the fireworks, which he said are “world class”.

In the capital, the celebration went underway at 16:00 hrs on Wednesday with the traditional change of the guard at the Grand Ducal Palace. On the Place d’Armes, between 19:00 and 21:15 hrs there were fanfare concerts, the surrounding trees illuminated with the colours of the Luxembourgish flag.