Europe Day 2023: Grand Duke, Beethoven and Rodin

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Europe Day 2023: Grand Duke, Beethoven and Rodin

Luxembourg celebrates Europe Day today, a public holiday and official rest day since 2019. Luxtoday shares the most exciting events, concerts and unique activities available to residents and visitors exclusively today. The celebrations will last all day long, so bring your umbrellas (rain is expected), your loved ones or your dogs and head to the center of Europe.

Europe Day is celebrated on 9 May, on the day when Robert Schuman, a Luxembourg-born French politician, proposed the creation of the European Coal and Steel Alliance. Thus, it played an important role in the further unification of Western Europe and the emergence of the European Union, and Schuman became the «father of Europe».

Meet the Grand Duke

The main events will take place at Place de l'Europe from noon to 6 p.m. The official program will begin at 2 p.m.: Grand Duke Henri is expected to arrive by this time to hear solemn speeches from all of Luxembourg's leading politicians, as well as to listen to the EU anthem and a performance of John Lennon's 'Imagine' by a children's choir.

What's a celebration without cake? Traditionally, at the end of the official part of the event, a European pie, a gesture that symbolizes the unity of the European states, will be shared amongst those present. There will also be numerous food trucks for guests of the festival.

The Grand Duke is also going to visit the stands in the European Village — a short tour around the educational stands is planned for around 3 p.m., so if you've always dreamed of watching the monarch, this is a good time to join the educational procession.

Find truly European art

The main Court of Justice of the European Union will be open to public visitors on Europe Day. Guests will be able to wander around the huge complex, learn more about its work, and see something very special.

One of the buildings holds a small but fascinating collection of artwork representing Europe's multicultural heritage. These works, donated, stored or loaned, reveal different eras of European life.

One of the most famous sculptures in the world, Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, can be found here. The public will also enjoy the Multilingualism Garden, temporarily housed on the site of the Jean Monnet building.

Listen to Beethoven's last piece

The evening of Europe Day will be devoted to music. And not just any music, but Beethoven's Ninth Symphony performed by the Luxembourg Chorus and the European Academic Orchestra at the Philharmonie.

The fourth movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's famous symphony was officially declared the anthem of the European Union in 1972. The lines about life in harmony and peace were taken from a 1785 poem by Schiller. The astonishing symphony brought music and choral singing together for the first time by an innovative composer. This was the last work Beethoven wrote while he was already deaf, a few years before his death.

A total of 180 musicians will perform on the Philharmonic stage to end this festive day in style. The musical classical performance will start at 8 p.m. However, to get to the concert, you must buy tickets — they start at 40 euros.

Find out what other public holidays Luxembourg has and what traditions they carry along in our special article — Luxembourg national holidays: bank holidays and traditions.

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Authors: Daria