Buergbrennen, an old tradition

17 Feb

Today i will probably go to take part in an old tradition, the burning of the winter. And i can tell you, i really hope it works this year, since i am a bit fed up with this weather.

here some details i found about this huge fire made mainly of our old christmas trees and other collected wood.


The burning of fires apparently originated with pagan feasts in connection with the arrival spring on 21 March. The current tradition of holding it is based on the Christian calendar. Luxembourg has revived the Buergbrennen festivities, which are also held in the neighbour countries, since the 1930s, , with some 75% of villages celebrating the occasion. Originally the bonfire seems simply to have consisted of a heap of wood and straw but as time went by, a central pillar of tree branches was introduced. A crosspiece was later attached near the top of the pillar, giving it the appearance of a cross.


Today you can even find real art work as for example this Buerg in Niederanven. picture taken by David Nepper, published on Facebook. Image

The buergbrennen was once celebrated only by the men in the village, women only being admitted under exceptional circumstances. The most recently married men played a special role, the honour of lighting the fire falling on the last man to have wed. But the newly-weds also had the responsibility of collecting wood for the fire or paying others to assist in the work. At the end of the festivities, they were expected to entertain those taking part, either at home or in local inns. The tradition began to die out in the 19th century because of the high costs involved, but in the 20th century local authorities revived the tradition, taking over responsibility for the arrangements and the costs involved.


so, let’s see if it works……..


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