A little history of National Day

Tomorrow, June 23, is Luxembourg’s national holiday. The big party is tonight, in anticipation of the torch-parade and the fireworks display just before midnight. We had a great time last year, as we shared on this blog: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3. In preparation for National Day 2010, we offer you a bit of history, cribbed from the City of Luxembourg’s website.

Luxembourg’s national holiday began, in the 19th Century, as a celebration of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg’s birthday. From the start, however, it was rarely celebrated on the reigning monarch’s actual birthday. The current date, June 23, was fixed in a national act of pragmatism. In 1961, both Grand Duchess Charlotte and Heir Apparent Jean had January birthdays. The weather in January was sure to put a damper on any celebrations. So it was decreed that June 23 (Grand Duchess Charlotte’s half-birthday) would be the National Holiday. And so it remained, although Grand Duke Henri’s birthday is in the relatively pleasant month of April.

The day of June 23 is reserved for formal, somber ceremonies. The Grand Ducal family, government ministers, and ambassadors celebrate a Te Deum at the national cathedral, followed by a military parade.

Tonight, the Grand Duke makes his way to Luxembourg City to attend the torchlit procession (and to ignore, benevolently, the antics of his subjects).

2 Comments to “A little history of National Day”

  1. The Expatresse said...
    23 June 2010

    I was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to see how many events began at 11:00 p.m. or later and continued until 0600.

    Here! Where we are all urged to BE QUIET!

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