Pétange, municipality of the month from 22 March to 21 April 2022
Pétange is planning a great European cavalcade
The town of Pétange, known in the Greater Region for its extraordinary cavalcade, which has been taking place every year since 1955, is planning a large European cavalcade in 2022 that will bring together all the inhabitants of the Minett basin, the Greater Region and beyond. In addition to the floats, which will be carefully planned and built by the inhabitants over the course of the entire year, prestigious guests will be invited to take part in the procession, such as the Gilles de Binche, characters from the Nice Carnival, spectacular animals from Slovenia and Hungary, and floats from Montenegro, Viareggio and the Venice Carnival.
The cavalcade, which will begin on 27 March 2022, will travel over a course of nearly 6 kilometres, culminating in a great show on its arrival in front of the Pétange town hall. This major project initiated by the municipality is the result of a collaboration between KaGePe and its general coordinator, Serge Breyer, and the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC), whose Luxembourg section is particularly active. The cavalcade relies on the intense and passionate work of numerous societies that will be expected to participate (gymnastics society, choirs, dance troupes, etc.).
Of medieval origin, the Pétange cavalcade unfolds around the period of mid-Lent which, for Christians, lasts from the Sunday of Lent to Easter. It allowed all citizens to celebrate in the streets, where (almost) everything was allowed: drinking, disguising as a monk, blasphemy, dancing, etc. In more recent times, huge dolls were burnt, for example in Remich, and in Pétange, nostalgic songs were sung around a crate filled with flags.
Today, the Pétange cavalcade usually begins with a grand ball – sometimes entitled ‘Rendez-vous princier’ (lit. ‘Princely Rendezvous’) – on the Friday or Saturday (depending on the year) and ends in a flourish on Sunday, from 2.11 pm onwards, 11 being a ‘carnevalesque’ number.
In most instances, the ball takes place under a large marquee installed on Place du Marché. In 2022, Pétange plans to welcome nearly 30,000 visitors. From 22 to 29 May 2022, as part of Esch2022, the town will also host a summit with nearly 150 representatives, directors or scenographers of European cavalcades and international carnivals.
In 2021, a carnival event will take place on 14 March, unfolding as two projects that were devised with the restrictions of the current sanitary crisis in mind. The first is a screening of a short film of sketches and dances, including a mini-procession of toy figurines on mini-floats representing local societies. The second is a drive-in concert by the famous German group Brings, the kings of the Cologne Carnival, held on the Carena site.
Did you know?
The carnival rallying cry of the inhabitants of Pétange is: ‘De Péitenger Wand, dee bléist, dee bléist, dee bléist!’ (‘The wind of Pétange, is blowing, blowing, blowing!’). It is believed to have originated around 1900 and refers to the arrival of railway employees dressed in uniforms with gold or silver buttons, who were chided for their condescending behaviour towards railway, metal and mine workers. The still topical motto pokes fun at their arrogance.