Article (Scientific journals)
Den Winter verjagen. Das Burgbrennen in Luxemburg und seine Entwicklung seit den 1970er Jahren
KMEC, Sonja; Reitz, Jean; Lorent, Catherine
2023In Hemecht: Zeitschrift für Luxemburger Geschichte, 75 (4), p. 389-418
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Keywords :
seasonal fire; eventisation; folklore; Esch2022; bonefire; Buergbrennen; ritualization; food; scouts; Feuerbrauch; dimanche des brandons; Brauch; Karneval; carnival; lent; grands feux; conviviality; pollution; castle; cross; Burg; Kreuz; synkretismus; Kelten; press; ethnology; map
Abstract :
[en] Drawing on digitized newspaper archives and an enquiry conducted in 2020/21, this article examines changes in the ritualization of “Buergbrennen” – a communal event centered around the lightening of a seasonal fire on the first Saturday or Sunday of Lent in Luxembourg. A first finding is that the number of such bonfires has increased since the early 1970s from about 100 localities to 260 recorded instances in 2020. While most stacks continue to be cross-shaped, the (erroneous) etymology of “Burg” (castle) inspires some castle-shaped constructions. The type of combustible material that is used has changed, notably due to safety regulations and anti-pollution acts. A series of maps show distinctive regional characteristics in terms of organizers, which appear linked to older village-based traditions in the rural North and East, while the feast was generally introduced in the South and Center by associations and clubs. A certain eventisation (combining the bonfire with other attractions) is evident in urban settings and in the context of the Esch2022, European capital of culture, but even without any side-effects the sensory spectacle and sociability of a bonefire enjoys (renewed) popularity in the 21st century.
Disciplines :
Author, co-author :
KMEC, Sonja  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (FHSE) > Department of Humanities (DHUM) > History
Reitz, Jean
Lorent, Catherine
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Den Winter verjagen. Das Burgbrennen in Luxemburg und seine Entwicklung seit den 1970er Jahren
Alternative titles :
[en] Burning Winter: A study of the custom of „Buergbrennen“ in Luxembourg and its evolution since the 1970s
Publication date :
Journal title :
Hemecht: Zeitschrift für Luxemburger Geschichte
Publisher :
Office Services SA, Niederanven, Unknown/unspecified
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
Development Goals :
15. Life on land
Additional URL :
Name of the research project :
On fire. Burning winter (“Buergbrennen”) in Luxembourg
Funders :
Gemeng Käerjeng
Available on ORBilu :
since 27 November 2023


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