Be prepared to hand out candy


 David Laurent/Wide (archives)

Local tradition: Rather than celebrate Groundhog Day, Luxembourgers have their own special tradition on February 2--Liichtmessdag.

Be sure to have a plentiful supply of candy, or sweets if you prefer, on Thursday because you will need to hand out goodies to gangs of children. Don’t worry, they are not threatening a Trick or Treat, merely celebrating the tradition of Liichtmessdag.

The children wander from door to door bearing lanterns and singing a traditional song--‘Léiwer Härgottsblieschen’--that promises good health to the giver of the goodies. In fact the children are asking for bacon and peas in the song, but will expect sweets these days.

The song is rather dark though, as it asks God to let the young live and the old die.