Weekend: Oekofestival, Japanese soul food, and Oktoberfest
Make the most of a sunny(ish) Saturday with three festivals in Luxembourg City, designed to delight tastebuds, spearhead discussions on the ecological future of the Grand Duchy, or celebrate a royal marriage tradition with beer and Grillhaenchen.
Oekofestival – Pfaffenthal
Organised by the Ecological Movement and taking place around the Oekozenter, Restaurant Oekosoph, the Sang a Klang room, Park Odendahl and along the river Alzette, and dovetailing with the youth for climate strike at Gare, this festival takes place on Friday 24 September from 16.00, and from 10.00 to 19.00 on Saturday 25 September. You can find a location map here.
Saturday sees a full agenda of live music, guided visits, animations for children, discussions and talks on all things relating to ecology, climate change, recycling and environment. It’s a green waste and CovidCheck event, but if you don’t have a vaccination passport or negative test, you can take a test on site for €5.
There’s a guided virtual reality tour (via mini bus), developed with the City of Luxembourg, which takes you through the history of the Pfaffenthal district, using 3D glasses to immerse you in the 19th century narrow streets of the district, with images and music to give you a taste of everyday life, including horse-drawn carriages, grand private houses and the Vauban military barracks. Tours are only for those aged 12 years and over. Younger children can listen to stories in Luxembourgish, try craft workshops or see a powershow with Georges Christen.
There will be an afternoon tour of Pfaffenthal covering the old streets and buildings and another discovering wild herbs and plants.
You can also visit bee colonies, learn the differences between organic and conventional beekeeping, and the importance of biodiversity at the apiary between the centre and the river Alzette, or take a tour to learn about the nocturnal wildlife of the city.
Music is provided by Indie band Seed to Tree, Hannah Ida, Latin jazz from Marly Marques and reggae band Le Vibe, and blues/rock from Heavy Petrol, plus more jazz and folk performances – find a full line up of artists and times here.
And perhaps most importantly there’ll be discussion forums on agriculture and biodiversity, the forest and climate change, the rise of housing development, and how to halt the world's growing mountain of plastic.
Japanese soul food event – Kyosk Kirchberg
Head to central park and Kyosk for some home-made craft ramen from local producers Manzoku, to the curated sounds of J-pop and some Japanese classics on the big screen.
This is not a Matsuri (Japanese holiday or festival) the organisers say, but they are hoping to host a bigger version next year. In the meantime, you can indulge in some char-grilled Yakimono skewers (chicken and vegetarian) from Kyosk chef Nuno, or Sando (Japanese style sandwiches), whilst the Manzoku tent will have Miso Ramen with marinaded aubergine, and Tokyo Shoyu Ramen with chicken, plus home-made spicy kimchi. You can choose Japanese craft beer or sake to wash it down.
Asian culture will be the backdrop, including Japanese anime from Studio Ghibli on the outdoor screen (with Miso popcorn to nibble on), and an eclectic mix of J-rock and J-pop on the speakers.
The event kicks off at noon on both 25 and 26 September, and finishes at 21.00 on Saturday and 19.00 on Sunday. This is a CovidCheck event but rapid antigen tests are available on site.
"Kyosk have embraced this celebration of authentic Japanese food with an authentic Japanese welcome," says Mei Henderson, co-owner of Manzoku, adding: "Our serving staff include a number of Japanese students who are studying at the University of Luxembourg."
Oktoberfest – Clausen
It’s that time of year again, even though it’s not October yet, to put on your dirndl or lederhose and sample plenty of beer.
Munich, the home of the Oktoberfest, gets through about 7 million mugs of beer and 400,000 sausages at its annual festival, which always commences on the third Saturday of September and dates back to celebrations in 1810 for the marriage of King Louis I of Bavaria to Therese of Saxon-Hildburghausen.
Although the festival in Munich has been cancelled again this year, you can head down to the Big Beer Company for a month-long Oktoberfest that starts on Friday 24 September, with singer and musician Marco Boesen, plus a whole host of Luxembourgish DJs, including DJ Stanko, DJ Hoffmeister, DJ Oli, Becki & Schantzesi, and DJ Maji. They’ll also be electing Miss and Mr Oktoberfest as part of the celebrations.
"Oktoberfest has been a tradition at our brewery for 10 years, where we serve our Gezwickelt Clausel beer in Bavarian style half-litre and litre mugs. You can expect Bavarian- Luxembourgish food like Haxe, Grillhaenchen, and Kniddlen mit Speck," says manager Christian Zirwes.
CovidCheck stations will be in operation, with a small fee for entry until 03.00, or an additional few euros for an antigen test and entry until 01.00.