Get yourself a traditional clay bird-whistle on Easter Monday
The Emaischen, or Éimaischen, is a key event on the calendar of annual Luxembourg traditions, celebrated every year on Easter Monday with a pottery market in Nospelt and Luxembourg City.
Thousands of people flock to the markets every year to buy a so-called “Péckvillchen”, a whistle made from clay and shaped like a bird. They are particularly popular as a gift between lovers.
However, the origins of the tradition are somewhat unclear. A government-issued pamphlet on Luxembourg festivals says only that it was probably named after the biblical town of Emmaus, where Jesus Christ is said to have met two apostles after his resurrection. This does not, however, explain the link to the bird-shaped whistles.
Take a look at the video below to find out how the Péckvillchen is made
Other sources connect the tradition to a pottery market in the Book of Jeremiah.
Clay whistles dating back as far as the 16th Century have been found in Luxembourg, while the oldest written records on the Emaischen dates back to 1827. These appear to show that a mass was celebrated at the St Michel church in Luxembourg City on Easter Monday in honour of the potters' guild, who would sell their wares outside.
The popularity of the market dwindled around the turn of the century but it regained in significance just before and especially after the Second World War.
188th Luxembourg City Éimaischen
Luxembourg City this year celebrates the 188th edition of the Éimaischen, held in the streets around the Grand Ducal palace. Early birds can catch their whistle as early as 8am, but the market continues until 6pm. It is usually around noon that it gets busy, especially in good weather, with the market also offering food and drink, music and folklore dance performances.
In Nospelt the Emaischen market starts at 10am on Monday, with lots of music groups entertaining the shopping crowds. There will also be a bouncy castle, face painting, pottery workshop and balloon artist for children. With most of Nospelt closed for traffic on Monday for the market, shuttle buses are available from the main car park in the Kehlen industrial zone and the Kehlen school.
The first bus leaves at 10am and the final departure from Nospelt is at 8pm.
For more information on the Luxembourg City Éimaischen visit the Facebook Event or head to emaischen.lu for details on the Nospelt market.