June 23rd, the celebration of the birthday of Grand Duke Jean de Luxembourg. I can happily say that I have only experienced this once. The entire day is declared a national holiday, and festivities begin at dawn.

People come from all over (mainly France) to see the spectacles, effectively tripling the population for a day. Along with a parade of both members of the Luxembourgian military several times around the city, there is a mass of thanks in the cathedral, followed by another parade and a really nifty fireworks display over the large gorge running through the middle of the city. Afterwards, the city turns into a big party, featuring much food (mmmm...waffles) and a cover band playing crappy music they think Americans like. I remember vaguely dancing with some old French punk chick who spilled her beer all over me, then passed out. In the end, I can only say three things:

  • Despite their propaganda, nobody speaks either Luxembourgish or German, which forced me to break out my piss-poor attempt at French again.
  • While the Grand Duke may be a great guy, I'm still disappointed that he wouldn't consider granting my request for a letter of marque.
  • You have not lived until you have heard the entire population of Luxembourg belting out the words to Sweet Home Alabama.