(centre-left) the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Maria Teresa; Credit: Chronicle.lu

Luxembourg-Kirchberg's Luxexpo The Box hosted the highly anticipated Bazar International de Luxembourg (International Bazaar) from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 November 2023.

Traditionally spanning two days, the event extended to two and a half days again this year, featuring a successful Friday evening opening.

In the lead-up to the event, the organisers unveiled its new logo, a modern rendition reflecting the organisation's evolution over the past 60 years. The colourful hearts symbolise the diversity and the organisation’s commitment to charitable causes.

With attendance figures ranging from 22,000 to 28,000 pre-COVID, the 2021 edition attracted between 22,000 and 25,000 visitors, while the 2022 event broke records with 40,000 attendees over two and a half days. A Bazaar committee representative confirmed to Chronicle.lu that attendance figures this year were once again higher than previously, with exact numbers to be confirmed.

As in years past, special guests were present for the occasion, including the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, who visited a number of stands on Saturday morning, and a number of politicians (among whom were Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister, Xavier Bettel, and the new President of the Parliament, Claude Wiseler) and Saint Nicholas (Kleeschen), who toured the Bazaar.

Approximately 60 stands were present, with countries such as Kenya, Colombia and Afghanistan making a return, and China rejoining after a two-year hiatus with panda-themed goodies, among other specialties. This year, a decision was taken by the Bazaar’s organisation not to include an Israeli stand for security reasons.

Stands showcased various goods and treated visitors to traditional musical and dance performances, as well as traditional foods and drinks. The Bazaar also offered books, clothing and festive winter decorations, an array of potential gifts for the approaching Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas celebrations.

The proceeds will be donated to 48 Luxembourg-based and international charities this year, focusing on themes such as social reinsertion, medical care, education and combating human trafficking. Charity funds are allocated based on the organisations’ needs.

The Bazar International heavily relies on volunteers, with approximately 1,500 individuals contributing their time to prepare, build, decorate and manage the various stands. Partnerships with organisations like PwC Luxembourg have played a crucial role in bringing in additional volunteers.

A key challenge this year was addressing single-use plastic. The organisers introduced reusable cups and wine glasses, with plans to extend sustainability efforts in 2024 by introducing reusable plates.