What began in 1340 as a trade fair has today earned its place in history books and the hearts of around two million visitors who flock to the Champ de Glacis each year for an unforgettable experience. The 4 hectares-wide parking lot in the heart of Luxembourg City is transformed into the Schueberfouer fairground for several weeks with impressive rides and attractions, game booths, a diverse range of vendors and a simply irresistible atmosphere.
From 23 August to 11 September 2023, the ambiance in Luxembourg City was once again filled with the delectable aroma of street food, accompanied by the joyous screams of thrill-seekers expressing their unfettered excitement.
Although this traditional event has its origins in the history of the Grand Duchy and has weathered several centuries of geopolitical and economic changes, it continues to form part of the cultural identity of Luxembourg even in present times. If you visit the Grand Duchy during the period of the fair, you can expect to receive invitations from co-workers, neighbours, family or friends, who leverage on the event to unwind and take a breather from the hustle and bustle of daily life. While you’re at it, don’t forget to take a selfie with the iconic Schueberfouer mascot Lämmy, designed by artist Emile Schlesser.
Origins of the Schueberfouer
“Schueberfouer” is frequently associated with its original location, Schuedbuerg. “Fouer” means “fair” in Luxembourgish, and a literal translation would be “Schuedbuerg’s fair”. However, the true origin of the name is debatable, with some proposing a connection to the German term “Schober”, which refers to a covered spot to keep hay.
The fair’s founding father, John the Blind, former Count of Luxembourg and King of Bohemia, established the date for the annual festivities on the eve of St. Bartholomew’s feast, which falls in August, explaining the timeline today.
Over the centuries, the fair has evolved from a simple marketplace to the funfair that many have come to know and love in Luxembourg. Several modifications in the fair’s location, as well as more modern and sophisticated attractions came with its transformation. In 1610, it relocated from the Marché de la Saint-Barthélémy, a crossroads of European trade routes, to Limpertsberg. It was moved to its current location in 1893 to allow for further urbanisation works in its previous location.
In 2008, the Schueberfouer was designated an intangible cultural heritage on the register of the Luxembourg Ministry of Culture, alongside other famous events like the Echternach hopping procession, the Éimaischen (Easter Monday) and the Octave pilgrimage that takes place in May.
This 670-year-old festival, affectionately known as the “Schueb” or “Schuebi”, remains an important part of life in Luxembourg for both expats and locals. Whatever your preference, there is something for everyone, from one-of-a-kind antiquities and handcrafted jewellery to numerous types of local and international cuisine, and from kid-friendly activities to high-adrenaline rides.
Explore some of the amenities, games, attractions and restaurants available here.
Find the full programme for 2023 here.
Photo credit: Unsplash