The tourist office used to call it the Green Heart of Europe, I think.
I’m here for the National Day celebrations, and the Fete de la Musique. On Sunday night, on the Place Guillaume II, the Philharmonic Orchestra plays (a pops concert): the square is packed, despite rain earlier in the day. All over town there are temporary stages, and outdoor bars. In the old town, people drink beer and eat sausages and listen to a band playing Beatles covers; in the Abbaye de Neumunster, late-afternoon sun streaming into its glass-roofed courtyard, a choral group called Voices International perform summer-themed songs; on the Place D’Armes , there are stoic brass players crammed into the bandstand. On Monday night, the dance music on multiple stages around the Golden Lady monument, on the Place de la Constitution, pounds until 3 AM.
On Monday night, after dark, the small city fills. There’s a candle-lit procession through the streets. In this photo it looks as though the villagers are rounding up a midnight posse to go and confront a witch or chase a wolf, but it’s really much more benign.
The procession was explained to me beforehand: the participants all belonged to clubs. I had the New Orleans krewe model in mind, so I was thinking along secret-society lines. But really, they are just club members, adults and children: judo or tennis or flamenco-dancing club members, scouts and swimmers. Some wear the folk costumes of other confusing-to-identify European countries. (Bulgaria, someone speculates, as another band dance by.) Some wear sombreros.