Several festive events and visits are taking place in Luxembourg in the run-up to Saint Nicholas Day (Kleesechersdag), a particularly popular holiday among young children.
Each year on the morning of 6 December, well-behaved children in Luxembourg will wake up to gifts and sweets from Saint Nicholas (Kleeschen). According to tradition, the "naughty" children, however, risk receiving twigs from the Kleeschen's frightening companion, the Houseker.
Saint Nicholas Day is a holiday for children in pre-primary and primary education in Luxembourg, who get the day off school.
The Kleeschen will tour the City of Luxembourg once again this year, on Sunday 3 December 2023, with similar encounters and activities planned across the Grand Duchy.
In Luxembourg City, the Kleeschen will arrive by tram at Luxembourg Central Railway Station at 13:30 on Sunday, where he will be welcomed by the City of Luxembourg's municipal representatives, as well as musical entertainment by the Saxitude group. The procession will then arrive at Place de Paris (via Avenue de la Liberté) around 14:00. In Place de Paris, visitors may receive little bags of sweets (Titercher) and enjoy the music. The procession will then head towards Ville-Haute, passing through Rue Philippe II, Grand-Rue, Rue du Marché-aux-Herbes and Rue de la Reine to reach Place Guillaume II around 16:00, accompanied by music and dancing. From 17:00 to 18:00, the Mayor of Luxembourg City, Lydie Polfer, will deliver a short speech, after which the Kleeschen and his companions will distribute sweets to children, again accompanied by music.
This year, the Kleeschen also made an appearance at the official opening of the Niklosmaart Christmas market in Place de Paris. Children still have the opportunity to visit him at his cottage (Dem Kleesche säin Haus) on Saturday 2 December 2023 from 15:00 to 17:00.
Elsewhere, the traditional Saint Nicholas procession is taking place in Esch-sur-Alzette on Sunday, departing Place de la Résistance at 14:30 and arriving at Place de l'Hôtel de Ville (Christmas market location) around 16:30. The Kleeschen will distribute sweets to the children he meets along the way.
A similar event is taking place in Remich on Sunday, when the Kleeschen will arrive by boat and distribute Boxemännecher (traditional little brioche men) to children from 15:00, accompanied by music from the local Harmonie Municipale.
The Kleeschen is also making an appearance in the coming days in Bettembourg (3 December), Wiltz (3 December), Sandweiler (3 December), Niederanven (4 December) and Moutfort (8 December), as well as at various other events, in schools and in supermarkets during this festive period.
Moreover, children can still write and post a letter to the Kleeschen - and receive a special reply:
Kleeschen / Saint Nicolas
L-3290 Am Himmelsland