Christmas in Luxembourg – Customs and Traditions

Learn all about the different Christmas customs and traditions in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg is known for its charming and festive Christmas period that lasts from early November through early January. You can join the locals and enjoy some of the best celebrations that you can get in the world.

The country is a unique destination for you to enjoy the Christmas holiday because it is home to some of the ancient traditions that you can find in Western Europe. The Christmas period in the country usually begins early in December during St. Nicholas Day and it will last throughout December through the 6th of January. 

Christmas traditions and customs in Luxembourg

Around the cities and towns around the state people celebrate the kleeschen. This is a period when the local people celebrate the coming of St. Nicholas. This tradition has been present in the country for centuries now and it is mainly focused on the Saint Nicholas delivering presents to well-behaved children.

The children who behaved well are going to get their presents under the Christmas tree while those who misbehaved will get twigs. In most parts of the country, you will find that the children will put shoes on the windows or in front of their bedroom. It is believed that St. Nicholas will come and put presents into them. 

On the eve of St. Nicholas’s Day, the kids of the family will place an empty place on the dining table and it is believed that St. Nicholas will leave candy and sweets on the plate. This is a common practice around Luxembourg.

Beginning of the Christmas tradition in Luxembourg

The beginning of December marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration in the country. All the streets, store windows, and shops in major cities are usually decorated and illuminated with Christmas lights and other decorations. There are Christmas trees all over the country and you will find the Christmas markets beaming with life.

In most cities around the country, you will find wooden huts that are set up and you will see all kinds of Christmas goods that are on sale in this region. Whether you want to purchase something for your house or you want to buy a souvenir that you can take to your home country, there are various markets around the country. 

You can sample the local wine in the country and warm yourself as you explore the country. The Christmas markets usually sell seasonal foods and you will find things such as sausages, mulled wine, fresh baked goods, and fresh-cut pine boughs.

Further reading: Christmas in Norway

St. Nicholas Day 

St. Nicholas Day or what is popularly known as De Kleeschen in the country is a popular holiday and many locals celebrate this holiday. This holiday is called zinnias in Luxembourgish hence you should not be worried when you hear such a name during this period.

St. Nicholas is a historical figure who is thought to have lived in central Asia in the 1st century. He went on to become one of the most essential saints in the Catholic Church. He was known to be a protector of children and he was celebrated as the person who will bring gifts to children during the Christmas period.

The people in the country are known to be very precise and more inclined to celebrate these holidays. During this period, St. Nicholas will bring gifts to the children who behaved well during the year. These gifts usually range from sweets to candies.

Further reading: Christmas in Estonia

Den Housecker

This is commonly known as St. Nicholas’ helper and you will find that they usually accompany St. Nicholas during their trip to the area. They visit the homes and children to help in dealing with naughty children. While St. Nicholas is giving children who behaved well presents, the housecker is known to give them twigs and branches as gifts and this is meant to instill good morals and behavior to the children. 

The character is far more common in central and western Europe. Den Housecker character has been common since the 16th century, and ever since they are present in the tradition of the people in the region. In the northern parts of Luxembourg, you might hear other names such as housenger or Klëppelmann. All of these refer to housecker as the people in the region maintained the name for longer periods. 

Further reading: Christmas in Germany


People also believe in Santa Claus in Luxembourg.

This common tradition in Luxembourg is similar to that of different parts of Europe and this character is known to bring gifts to people during the Christmas period. The Chrëschtkëndchen is a popular figure in Luxembourg and they are known to bring gifts to the people during the Christmas period.

This character started as a Protestant. However, in modern times, it is found in various religions that are practiced in the region such as Switzerland, Bavaria, and Luxembourg. You will find that in some parts of the country, he is often referred to as Christkind and Santa Claus in others. He usually visits people on Christmas Eve and during this time, people will clean their houses in wait for Santa.

The folklore in the region has been a major figure in the Grand Duchy and he has evolved over the years to be an important figure in Luxembourg. In the northern parts of the country, he is commonly called Sinterklaas. 

Further reading: Christmas in France

House cleaning

Perhaps this is one of the most important traditions that is more common in Luxembourg. The people around the country will embark on a thorough cleaning exercise and they will clean the house removing any critters, dusting windows, cleaning their compounds, and any other dirt around the house.

The exercise is very important because it is believed that the Christmas period is a new season and the people want to welcome it on a clean slate. Depending on the region, people will do a thorough cleaning which is different from the regular cleaning. This is done before the Christmas decorations are put in place.

Further reading: Christmas in Belgium

Christmas tree in Luxembourg

Perhaps one of the most common traditions in Luxembourg is the setting up of the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree has played an important role in the Christmas tradition, as the local people will put much energy into getting these trees.

While in the rural parts of the country, many people will go to the forest to get the trees by themselves; in the urban areas and cities around the country, many people will often go to the local markets to purchase them. The use of Christmas trees during the Christmas period has become more prevalent across the country. 

Once they have the Christmas tree, they will then decorate it with lights and a star at the top. People believe that Santa Claus will put presents under the tree, hence most of the young members of the family will participate in the decoration of the Christmas tree awaiting for the gifts. 

Further reading: Christmas in Austria

Midnight mass in Luxembourg

A large number of people in Luxembourg are Catholics, therefore, there is an overriding theme of Christianity. On Christmas Eve, people will often attend a Christmas Eve mass conducted around the local parishes.

Many people will often prefer to attend the mass after taking dinner and this is when the Christmas celebrations can begin. These are shorter services when compared to the regular services. 

Christmas Eve in Luxembourg

The people of Luxembourg are Catholics and on Christmas Eve after cleaning and decorating the Christmas tree, they will often prepare meals. In the afternoon families and friends will gather around the table and they will enjoy the food and drinks that were prepared on Christmas Eve. It is important to note that some people who have been fasting before this period are also allowed to join the people to enjoy the meals.

Christmas eve dinner in Luxembourg

The traditions and customs in Luxembourg might vary from one location to another. In some places, you will find that people will eat before attending the midnight mass, while in other areas they will attend the midnight mass before they can gather and enjoy the food and drinks.

Some of the common dishes on the Christmas table in Luxembourg include applesauce, mashed potatoes, roast beef, and turkey.  Another common traditional food in the region is stollen, which is a fruit loaf infused with rum. It is usually covered with dark chocolate and made to resemble the Yule log. 

Christmas dinner in Luxembourg

Once the people have enjoyed their Christmas Eve dinner, the major celebrations kick in on the 25th of December and this is when feasting begins. You will find foods such as stollen, black pudding, civet, turkey, geese, or venison. The meals are usually served in large portions and the family members are supposed to eat in unison at a table.

Once the Christmas dinner is over, they will often participate in games and storytelling activities to make merry. The dishes will vary from one region to another and it is critical to note that the people are often known to maintain their traditions and enjoy the local seasonal dishes as well. 

Christmas markets in Luxembourg

Make sure not to skip the Christmas markets in Luxembourg – they are a true gem.

Perhaps one of the most common ways that you can keep the Christmas tradition alive in Luxembourg is by visiting the Christmas markets. The markets are known to house some of the most unique souvenirs, gifts, seasonal items as well as dishes.

You can purchase a wide array of items from these markets and you are sure that you will understand the local tradition in the region by visiting these markets.

Aurimas Bio

Hi there! I’m Aurimas, a man behind Go Look Explore. I’m passionate about hiking, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, and everything outdoors related. Let’s connect.