Luxembourg National Day is celebrated every year on June 23 to mark the official birthday of the ruler of Luxembourg. Did you know that Luxembourg was a part of the ancient Roman Empire and produced several Holy Roman Emperors? National Day of Luxembourg is usually a festive day in the city of Luxembourg. The celebration starts with a change of the guard at the Grand-Ducal palace on June 22, then a torchlight procession, open-air concerts, and fireworks. National Day of Luxembourg kickstarts with an official ceremony, a gun salute, a military parade, and the traditional Te Deum at the cathedral Notre Dame.
History of Luxembourg National Day
Around 450 B.C., two Gallic tribes, the Treveri and Mediomatrici, first settled in what is now Luxembourg. The Treveri achieved their apex of prosperity in the 1st century B.C. when they built multiple Iron Age walled sites near southern Luxembourg, eastern France, and western Germany. Julius Caesar captured the entire country in 53 B.C., and it was incorporated into the Roman Gallia Celtica and then Gallia Belgica in 90 B.C. The Franks invaded Luxembourg in the 5th century, putting an end to Roman control by 406 A.D. St. Willibrord was the driving force for the region’s Christianization, and he later founded the Benedictine abbey of Echternach, which is now a major cultural center. Luxembourg passed through several hands between the 480s and 855 AD. before falling to the Holy Roman Empire’s Duchy of Upper Lorraine in 959.
In 963, Siegfried I, count de Ardennes, traded part of his lands for a strategically placed fort called ‘Lucilinburhuc’ (little castle). The name Luxembourg is said to have been derived from the castle. Through marriage, conquest, and alliances, the descendants of Siegfried expanded the territory. The bloodline later became eminent, producing several Holy Roman emperors, Kings of Bohemia, and Archbishops of Trier and Mainz. In 1477, the duchy of Luxembourg was ceded to the Habsburgs and later to the Spanish Habsburgs between 1555 and 1556. In 1684, Louis XIV completed its conquest of Luxembourg city before later restoring it to Spain in 1697. In 1795, the city became French again until the fall of Napoleon in 1814. In 1815, the allied powers raised Luxembourg to a grand duchy at the Congress of Vienna and handed it over to William I, Prince of Orange-Nassau and king of the Netherlands.
During the reign of William I, the Grand Duke’s birthday was celebrated on April 24, although his actual birthday was August 24. Under William II (1840 to 1849), the day was December 6, his real birthday. Between 1849 and 1890, during William III’s reign, the holiday was celebrated on June 17 and then February 19. After World War II, in 1947, the holiday became a national holiday. On December 23, 1961, the day was finally set at June 23 by Grand-Ducal decree. That was due to the fear that the then-reigning Grand Duchess, Charlotte, and her heir apparent’s actual birthday in January may be spoiled by poor weather.
Luxembourg National Day timeline
The Romans, under Julius Caesar, conquer the territory that is present-day Luxembourg.
Siegfried I, count de Ardennes, trades part of his ancestral land for Lucilinburhuc, a small fort.
The allied powers raise Luxembourg to a grand duchy status and give it to William I, Prince of Orange-Nassau and king of the Netherlands.
On December 23, a Grand Duchal Decree declares June 23 as the Grand Duke’s official birthday.
Luxembourg National Day FAQs
What language is spoken in Luxembourg?
The three languages mainly spoken in Luxembourg are French, German, and Luxembourgish. Other prominent languages include English, Arabic, Farsi, and Portuguese.
What does National Day of Luxembourg celebrate?
It primarily celebrates the birthday of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, although no real ruler of Luxembourg was born on that day.
How do they celebrate the day Luxembourg?
The National Day of Luxembourg festivities begin with an official ceremony in Kirchberg, then a traditional 21-gun shot in honor of the Grand Duke, a military parade, the traditional Te Deum, and open-air street concerts.
Luxembourg National Day Activities
Join the celebration in Luxembourg
On National Day of Luxembourg, a variety of events are held throughout the country. If you happen to be in Luxembourg at the time, you can join in singing ‘Te Deum’ in one of the country's churches and enjoy the street music taking place on Place d'Armes. You can check with your commune if you have any questions about the day's schedule.0
Send your best wishes
For those that can’t be in Luxembourg during the celebration, you can celebrate online with Luxembourgers. Send your best wishes on social media.
Research the European royal families
Almost all the royal families are related to one another. The Luxembourg-Nassau royal family is related to the British and German royal families, who are related to the Spanish, Dutch, Danish, and Monaco royal families. They all share a common ancestral line. You can use this National Day of Luxembourg to research the beginning of this ancestral line to the present day. We bet that this research will be a fun activity full of surprising discoveries.
5 Interesting Facts About Luxembourg
It has three official languages
Luxembourg’s official languages are French, German, and Luxembourgish.
Public transport is free
You can take public transport anywhere in Luxembourg without paying a dime.
The highest minimum wage in Europe
Luxembourg’s minimum wage is 2,141.99 euros per month.
One of the EU.’s official capitals
Luxembourg City, Brussels, and Strasbourg are the three official capitals of the European Union.
An investment fund capital
After the United States, Luxembourg is the largest investment fund center in the world.
Why We Love Luxembourg National Day
It celebrates Luxembourg’s prosperity
Luxembourg is one of the most prosperous countries in the world in terms of G.D.P. and P.P.P. It also has one of the best housing, healthcare, and education systems in the world and the highest standard of living in the Eurozone. That gives Luxembourgers a lot to be grateful for and celebrate on National Day of Luxembourg.
It celebrates remarkable citizens
It serves as a time to appreciate the contribution of the various individuals to the country’s socio-economic growth and development. These individuals are usually conferred awards by the H.R.H the Grand Duke at the official National Day of Luxembourg ceremony.
It’s a time of great festivity
Several activities take place on the National Day of Luxembourg that draws people from across the world between 22 and 23 June. That includes the open-air street concerts, the 21-cannon salute, military parades, and the fireworks. These events only get bigger each year.
Luxembourg National Day dates