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Saint Nicholas Parade, Brussels

En route to the Brussels Christmas Market, we happened upon the staging area of what turned out to be a very entertaining parade. The stiltwalkers hanging out on second-story window ledges caught my attention, even before the giant cartoon heads and the oompah band (which, in this part of Europe, is called a bunch of […]

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La Fête Nationale Luxembourgeoise

Luxembourg’s National Day is the equivalent of America’s July 4th. There’s booze, grilled food, fireworks and bands. The party starts on the eve of the actual holiday around 10 p.m. and goes all night, you need your jacket because the June temps are only in the sixties and there’s always a threat of rain – […]

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Maastricht Carnival Costumes

People of all ages turn out in costume. Some groups bring their own drink carts. Tweet

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Maastricht Carnival

This Carnival season, we headed to Maastricht, a small city in the Netherlands that hosts the biggest Dutch Carnival. Although the party does not officially begin until Sunday, brass bands and costumed revelers are out in full force by Friday. Carnival officially begins at 12:11 pm on Carnival Sunday. The kick-off takes place in Vrijthof […]

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Gromperekichelcher

Much to my delight, Gromperekichelcher, or potato pancake, is a favorite Luxembourg winter food. These hearty fried potato-egg-herb concoctions are served with applesauce, although I saw some people eating them with a mayo-like spread.Tweet

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Fondue

In this part of Europe, fondue is not relegated to kitschy Alpine-themed restaurants or 1970’s sitcoms. Instead, it is a very serious winter tradition to be served with fendant, a Swiss white wine. The earliest recorded fondue recipe was from a 1699 Swiss cookbook. However, the recipe was a bit different – it called for […]

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Bûche de Noël

Bûche de Noël (you might recognize it as a yule log) is a delicious Christmas specialty, popular in Luxembourg, France and Belgium. These log-shaped cakes were traditionally made with sponge cake and chocolate buttercream and garnished to look like a log that would be ready to be tossed onto the pile in the ancient fire-festival […]

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A Luxembourg Christmas

In Luxembourg, as in much of Europe, Christmas Eve is the big night. Families gather together around the Christmas tree in the early evening and later attend Midnight Mass. The most popular mass is at The Eglise Saint Michel at the Fëschmaart. A popular English-language mass is at The Anglican Church in the Konvikt Chapel […]

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Gift Wrapping

One of the best parts of Christmas shopping in Luxembourg is the complimentary gift-wrapping service offered in every shop and mall. Of course, then you have to remember who gets which package… Tweet

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Kleeschen, or St. Nicholas

In Luxembourg, there is no Santa Claus. Instead, Kleeschen, or St. Nicholas, descends from heaven on the evening of December 5th. He visits every child’s house and consults his trusty “Book of Sins.” If the child has been good, he will put sweets into the waiting shoes that the child thoughtfully placed near the fireplace […]

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