New Coat Sunday!

From the title above, one might think that this will be an action-packed story about Anita or Will going to a Luxembourgish mall to purchase a coat (on a Sunday).

But it is so much more than that: We’re talking about an officially celebrated holiday in Luxembourg: Mantelsonndeg — roughly translated, “Coat Sunday”. (If you know that translation to be mistaken, please comment!)

Traditionally, Luxembourgers from the countryside would come to the urban areas just before All Soul’s Day («Toussaint» in French, Nov. 1 on your calendar), to buy winter clothes. They expected to wear their new clothes on All Soul’s Day, for visits to the cemetery and Mass. In 2007, the retailers of Luxembourg revived the tradition by opening their stores on the last Sunday of October. Voila, an annual fete is born!

As you know, stores are rarely open on Sundays here, so an opportunity to shop on the sabbath is cause enough for celebration. I haven’t seen many Halloween decorations, so I speculate that Coat Sunday also serves as a (minor) celebration of the changing seasons. I can imagine the nostalgia of elderly Luxembourgers:

I remember running through dry leaves of town, feeling a chilly breeze with the sweet scent of fireplace wood. In my day, of course, we walked into town, ten miles it was, and we were happy to have a coat at all. Why, for the Mantelsonndeg of ’52, all I got was a new pair of socks!

Okay, that’s a bit silly. Let’s talk about our plans for the weekend.

We have nice winter coats; what we need is more furniture! So our special shopping trip this weekend will be Anita’s first visit to Troc, a chain of stores selling (and buying) second-hand goods. Of course, we’ll also make the weekly trip to Cora to stock up on wine and cheese.

The past several weeks were plenty exciting for Anita and Will to last until Christmas, so Mantelsonndeg will be thrilling enough. Hopefully, we Luxembourgers won’t need a winter coat just to venture out on Sunday afternoon!

2 Comments to “New Coat Sunday!”

  1. The Expatresse said...
    25 October 2010

    How funny! I knew about the wine bags. (They have them at Trader Joe’s, too, if you ever get back across the pond.)

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