March 15, 2019

Luxembourg - Diekirch Carnival

The Carnival Season has begun in Luxembourg last weekend with the Cavalcade in Dirkirch! This celebration is traditionally organised as the first one in Luxembourg and a week after it all other small towns and villages in Luxembourg are allowed to have small parades and celebrate the Carnival Season.
The Carnival Season started as a religious celebration strongly connected with the period of lent which happens before Easter. According to wiki "elaborate costumes and masks allow people to set aside their everyday individuality and experience a heightened sense of social unity. Participants often indulge in excessive consumption of alcohol, meat, and other foods that will be forgone during upcoming Lent. Traditionally, butter, milk, and other animal products were not consumed "excessively", rather, their stock was fully consumed as to reduce waste. Pancakes, donuts, and other desserts were prepared and eaten for a final time. During Lent, animal products are no longer eaten, and individuals have the ability to give up a certain object or activity of desire."

This year the Dikrcher Cavalcade celebrated 41 years of existence and according to the numbers given by the organisers, 50 or so groups and floats paraded for three hours, giving 6 tonnes of candy and chocolate to the participants.
As every year the parade was open by the donkeys the spiritual animal of Diekirch present on every nook and cranny in the city and even on their main church. It seems that there are seven statues of donkeys in Diekirch and there is also a nice little story of the donkey on the top of the church. Also the donkeys were nice and although I do condemn using live animals in circus and parades, they seem to be doing ok.
Unfortunately the information related to the Diekirch Carnival are very hard to find as I do believe every group had a theme and I would have loved to read about it not just deduce it on the moment.

I would have loved to know what was with these witches and the story behind them. They were using their brooms to gently strike the participants heads or their feet. Were we supposed to fight or it was something with good luck?
From my knowledge the floats belong to youth groups scattered around Luxembourg and as everyone said the Steampunk float stole the show. I don't know if it belonged to the Steampunk Convention which takes places every year in September and as I've said, the geek in me needed some more information about the participants in the parade other than numbers or whatever they have on their official website.
Different from other years the biggest disappointment, for me, was this float which belonged to the organisers. It was the last float and it gave the best candy and some plush donkeys. Because of that it was followed by a large number of people all willing to sacrifice their shoes and clothing and belongings for some candy. So basically when that float passed us we were almost stumped by the stampede of candy eager people. Not to mention the disappointed fathers who were actually fighting for a plush donkey.

Indeed we caught the end of the parade somewhere near the town hall so somewhere near the end of the trail, but that is no reason as to not have enough toys or give them to the most blond people in the crowd. I remember that in 2016 I've managed to catch a donkey without an effort. So if an organiser manages to arrive on my blog and to read English, ! You state that you expect 24.000 spectators, then make at least 20.000 plush donkeys and avoid the candy filled stampede of people. 

Another thing, if the Carnival involves children, and let's face it you bring candy into discussion, you will have children in the mix, STOP distributing alcohol within the parade and on the pubs and bars in the centre. By the end of the parade the participants were drunk, the crowd was drunk and it was a marijuana and alcohol party involving children, candy and plus toys. The perfect combination!
I don't know the limit drinkable age in Luxembourg, but I'm willing to bet that the youngsters heavily intoxicated within the floats were between 18 and 20 years old.

For someone not interested at all of getting drunk and partying on the streets as someone with children should be, I would say that the organisers have a delicate problem of merging their main sponsor the Diekirch Beer with the meaning of the carnival and all the candy present. I understood that after the cavalcade the party continues, well why not start the party after the families have left the parade trail? Seeing people arrested on the street, vomiting people, and boys and girls not able to focus and stumbling on the streets is not a pleasant sight. And now I do remember why in the last years I've avoided all Luxembourgish celebrations as the same happens on their national day and basically any other occasion. 

Look at Arlon, they organise the carnival and they have a parade and I've never seen people involved in the parade being intoxicated with alcohol. And I remember from my time being involved in organising the St. Patrick's Parade in Dublin, drinking was a big no-no for the organisers and the participants. 

As for us? We had fun up to a point. I was there invited by the Instagrammers Luxembourg and Visit Luxembourg and I took pictures, we met some friends and it was OK, but never again, or until I forget what had happened in 2019 and you will again see a post on my blog about the Diekirch Carnival.
I hope you loved reading this post as much as I loved putting it together! If you fancy keeping in contact with me, drop a line at on Facebook. 


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