Saturday, April 30, 2011


Welcome to another installment of 'Luxembourgish festivals I can't pronounce.'

Let's see: there was February celebration of burning crosses and the early April Sunday dedicated to pretzels. The newest event to add to my repertoire of la vie luxembourgouise is Emaischen, a.k.a. the day of clay bird whistles.

Another day that happens just once a year (Easter Monday to be exact), this festival is characterized by stand after stand of vendors selling their version of peckvillercher, clay birds of varying sizes, shapes and colors.

Making my way to the center of town on Monday afternoon, my concerns that I might not find the market instantly vanished. The cadences of the bird whistles grew louder and louder as I neared the old church. While with Bretzelsonndeg you could follow your nose, with this festival, you definitely followed your ears.

And there, stand after stand, filled with (clay) birds, vendors demonstrating the whistles, children trying out their new toys, mixed with keen collectors examining this year's 'flock' - it was equal parts strange and magical.

It was Luxembourgish.

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