Credit: Otilia Dragan/

The village of Nospelt came alive with colourful pottery and traditional "Peckvillercher" bird whistles at yesterday's annual Emaischen Easter market.

Despite the rain and grey sky, hundreds of residents and visitors to the Grand Duchy flocked to Nospelt in southern Luxembourg to enjoy traditional food and crafts. Children and adults alike visited the village that once used to be the heart of Luxembourg’s pottery production, to purchase their own "Péckvillercher". These little ceramic bird whistles are sold just once a year in Luxembourg, and are produced by hobby potters.

During the event, the pottery museum in Nospelt opened its doors, providing visitors with a glimpse into the longstanding tradition of pottery production in the village, dating back to 1458.

Emaischen was originally the name of the annual festival of the Brotherhood of St Theobald – the patron saint of stonemasons, potters, plasterers, roofers and window fitters. This annual festival was founded in 1517. The term “Emaischen” as it is used today for the pottery market in Luxembourg-Ville was documented since 1826, with the market having been held in Nospelt since 1957, according to the pottery museum’s findings.

Péckvillercher were, at first, a “by-product” mainly a means to attract customers’ children and entice the adults to buy homeware (plates, bowls, cups and other items). From 1458 to 1914, Nospelt was the centre of Luxembourg's pottery industry. When the decline of the craft of pottery began in the early 20th century, no more Péckvillercher were created (from 1918 to 1930). In 1931, Jean Peters, a potter from Reckenthal (Luxembourg-Ville), revived the tradition and the production of these now-popular whistling birds. Many of his Péckvillercher and his original production moulds can be found today in the pottery museum located on “rue des Potiers” (Potters’ street).

In addition to the traditional bird form, potters have now included all sorts of animals and tableware in their range of ceramics available for sale. A Péckvillchen workshop was available for visitors on-site, while an experienced local potter was demonstrating the creation of the birds on a pottery wheel, all produced with local clay.

The Nospelt market offered traditional food and drinks, while stalls served sausages and chips, waffles and more, whilst bands and various singers provided entertainment. DJs, jumping castles for children and various other entertaining activities were available during the day. Nospelt had organised a weekend event with bands and entertainment from Saturday 30 March this year.