16 February 2016

Liichtmëssdag

Growing up in Luxembourg, the only good day in grey and wet February was Liichtmëssdag (Candlemas Day), which takes place on the 2nd of February. After dark, small groups of children walk from house to house holding colourful lantern that they’ve made themselves and singing in return for sweets and money. Liichtmëssdag was originally held for Brigid, the pagan goddess of fertility and based on the Celtic festival of Imbolc, during which farmers visited their with fields with wooden torches to welcome Spring, a prosperous crop and light into their houses. It was gradually influenced by Catholic traditions and poor Brigit was eventually replaced with Holy Blasius (Patron Saint of sore throats, which I guess is quite a good fit for Feb?!).

Today’s song goes as follows:

 

liichtmessdag

Léiwer Härgottsbliesche 

Léiwer Härgottsblieschen,- dear Holy Blasius
Gitt ons Speck an Ierbessen – give us bacon and peas
Ee Pond, zwee Pond, – one pound, two pound
Dat anert Joer da gitt der gesond, – the next year you will be healthy
Da gitt der gesond. – you will be healthy
Loosst déi jonk Leit liewen let the young people live
Loosst déi al Leit stierwen, let the old people die
Kommt der net bal, –  don’t you come soon
D’Féiss ginn ons kal. – our feet will become cold
Kommt Der net gläich,-  don’t you come soon
Da gi mer op d’Schläich. – We will “tiptoe”
Kommt der net geschwënn, – don’t you come soon
D’Féiss ginn ons dënn. – the feet will become thin
Kommt Der net gewëss, – you don’t come for certain
Da kritt Der e Schouss voll Nëss. – you get a lap full of nuts
 (Source: Das Luxemburgische und sein Schrifttum, Nik Welter,  1929)
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