Luxembourg is getting ready to celebrate National Day on June 23

Last time updated
Source: Cedric Letsch, Unsplash

Source: Cedric Letsch, Unsplash

National Day is celebrated annually on June 23. It is traditionally considered the name day of the country's rulers, although none of them were actually born on that day.

Holiday history

Luxembourg gained independence in 1815, although the celebration of the ruler was born a little earlier - in the XVIII century. The current date of the holiday is quite recent: only in 1961, before that the date was changed 7 times:

  1. Since 1816, the Luxembourgers celebrated the birthday of King William I in April, on the 24th.
  2. Under William II, the national holiday was celebrated on December 6.
  3. Under William III, the birthday was celebrated on June 17, and in 1860 it was changed to February 19.
  4. After the accession of Grand Duke Adolphe to the throne in 1890, National Day was celebrated on July 24.
  5. Under Guillaume IV, it was celebrated on April 22.
  6. Under Marie-Adelaide, it was celebrated on June 14 from 1913.
  7. When Grand Duchess Charlotte ascended the throne in 1919, January 23 became the national holiday. In 1947, the Grand Duchess's birthday was declared a public holiday.

It is interesting to note that the term "National Day" is not official and is not enshrined in any legal document. The laws refer to June 23 as the day of the official celebration of the anniversary of the birth of the Grand Duke.

The Luxembourgers themselves call the holiday either Groussherzogsgebuertsdag (Grand Duke's Birthday) or Nationalfeierdag (National Holiday).

Schedule of celebrations

The holiday traditionally begins the day before, on June 22. However, only June 23 is actually considered a day off. The first landmark event is a visit by the monarchical couple to one of the cities outside the capital. At the same time, Prince Guillaume and his wife Stephanie will travel to Luxembourg's second largest city, Esch-sur-Alzette.

Of course, when Guillaume succeeds his father on the throne, the honor of visiting Esch will pass to his eldest son Charles, according to the line of succession. The baby is only 4 years old, but Henri of Luxembourg is in good health, so the young prince still has time to grow up.

Changing of the Guard

The ceremonial changing of the guard will take place on June 22nd at 16:00 in front of the Grand Ducal Palace.

Torchlight procession

On the evening of June 22, one of the most memorable events will take place: the torchlight procession. It is organized by several organizations and will start at 21:30. Demonstrators will set off from the Place du Théâtre, march along the Côte d'Eich and the Rue du Fossé, and end at the Place Guillaume II, where the monarchs' tribune is located.

Ceremonial welcome by the Monarchy

At 21:30, at the same time as the procession, the Grand Duke and Duchess and their family will be received by the Mayor of Luxembourg, Lydie Polfer, and the Chief Alderman, Maurice Bauer. They will then escort them to the podium.

The fireworks

The main event of the evening, which without exaggeration is awaited by almost all inhabitants of the capital, will start at 23:00 on the Adolphe Bridge. The sky will be lit up for 17 minutes. The fireworks will be accompanied by an original piece of music composed by Paul Belardi and performed by Paul Belardi, Jerome Klein and Nils Engel.

Afterwards, there will be unofficial festivities and celebrations, but these will be more like friendly initiatives and parties in the bars and restaurants that are open late.

Events for June 23

Sunday's celebrations and festivities will begin in the morning at various locations around the city.

The official part

At 10 a.m. a traditional ceremony will take place at the Luxembourg Philharmonic Hall. At this time, the Grand Duke will address the nation and also present state honors.

Cannon salute

Another must-see event takes place immediately after the ceremony. Twenty-one cannons are fired into the Luxembourg sky.

Military parade

At noon, the troops march down the Avenue de la Liberté. The parade will include representatives of the army, police, customs, the Grand Duke's Fire and Rescue Corps, as well as the prison administration, the Red Cross and musical groups of the Grand Duke Adolphe Union. We should also expect an airplane flyover and a huge crowd. So if you want the best view, it's best to get a seat well in advance.

Te Deum

This service will take place at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Luxembourg after the parade.

In addition to the official events, there is also a lot of entertainment planned for the general public.

  • Spillfest. A day of games in Kinnexwiss will take place on June 23 from 10:00 to 18:00 and will be an opportunity to discover unusual educational games offered by a number of associations and artists. Admission is free.
  • City Sounds. The City Sounds Music Festival has been attracting huge crowds for years, and 2024 will be no exception. It will take place on June 22 and 23 on the Champ du Glacis.
  • Army Festival. If you are interested in military themes, this is the place to be. The army will be demonstrating military equipment and you will be able to taste welcome drinks. The event takes place on the Place de Metz.

The National Day is considered a public holiday. As it falls on a Sunday this year, all employees of the Grand Duchy are entitled to 1 day off during the next three months. This can be arranged with the management.

Transport and logistics

Some changes in transportation are expected during the National Day celebrations.

On June 22, in anticipation of the celebration, some lines will have extended service, with buses running more frequently than usual. From around 19:00, all buses between Luxembourg Central Station and the city center (in both directions) will be diverted to Rue de Hollerich and Route d'Esch. Also, the night lines will run longer that day.

On June 23, traffic will also be modified by the closure of some squares and streets. All information and detailed timetables can be found in the official tables.

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We took photos from these sources: Cedric Letsch, Unsplash

Authors: Aleksandr, Kadriia

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