As we kick off our National Day Alumni series, our first interview will finally settle the argument if Luxembourg National Day is on 22nd or 23rd of June. Meet Corinne Weis who did her Master in Mediation in 2017 and is now working for the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
What is the name for the National Day celebration in Luxembourgish?
How is National Day celebrated? The official National Day in Luxembourg is 23 June but we actually party the evening before and it happens all over the country in public spaces. The biggest celebration is in Luxembourg City of course but every village has its own party. We celebrate on the evening of 22 June and this is when the mayor would give a speech and then you have one or two hours of free drinking followed by concerts. Everyone comes together and you sometimes meet people who you don’t see during the year because even if they have been away, they do come back for the National Day. In Luxembourg City, the evening also ends with the fireworks. And the day after – 23 June – is a day off. It’s an official holiday in Luxembourg and you usually spend it with your family doing a barbecue, for instance, that would be very typical.
Is there typical food or drink you would have on National Day?
In my memories, on National Day I have a grass of Crémant de Luxembourg and in the other hand I have a kind of hot dog, a Grillwurscht sausage. This would be what I would eat and drink on National Day.
Do you think it is important to be celebrating National Day?
I think it does make you feel patriotic, especially on the 23rd when they are celebrating National Day at the Philharmonie and the government is inviting all the officials and also the international ambassadors who are living here and then they choose the Luxembourgish Woman and the Luxembourgish Man of the Year who has done something very important and impressive.
They would get am honorific medal and it’s really nice because Luxembourg is so small so somehow you know this person who is being honored on stage and this makes me feel also very happy to be part of it.
There is also the Philharmonic orchestra playing, politicians coming in and the Grand Duke and the Royal Family present so it is very official and it is nice to watch: all the people with small flags waving, etc. They broadcast it on TV so everyone can watch at home and I watch it with my children.
What is your best memory from these celebrations?
Traditionally, in a few cities on the 22nd they organise the torch procession (Fakelzuch). This would be my childhood memory to be a part of it with my friends, being in this huge queue of people going through the city with fire torches in the evening.
Now they also try to integrate international groups, for instance, where I live we have a huge Portuguese community and they are given a stage to play music and dance on a National Day. That is what I like as well.