Art & Tradition

The inhabitants of Vianden had been clever craftsmen working for centuries in safety, sheltered by their ramparts. On the busy Vianden markets they could sell their manufactured products and buy the goods they needed. Isolated within their ramparts, surrounded by mountains, the burghers of Vianden displayed a certain linguistic and cultural originality and their proverbial good temper was specially striking at public rejoicings. Every inhabitant of Vianden was somehow an artist by a certain inborn mobility of temper. The surrounding rather conservative rural populations reproved this happy-go-lucky element in the Vianden character as thoughtlessness or even craziness. The ambulant Vianden whitewashers and musicians displayed their good temper and humorous mischievousness throughout the country, the former while whitewashing the houses to decorate them for the village fair, the latter going in for music to entertain the guests at the village balls, for the whole country was dancing to the tunes of the Vianden musicians.

Nowadays the citizens of Vianden still display this originality and they have kept faithfully their old traditions alive. In autumn, after the tourists have left their town, they celebrate their ancient folklore customs: the nut-fair, the St. Martin Fire, their carnival and their specific Good-Friday celebration called "Jaudes".

Ecureuil © Jengel

Nut-fair

At the beginning of October, on its famous nut-fair "Nessmoort", Vianden sells the nuts gathered under the numerous nut-trees of the neighbouring slopes.

According to official statistics from 1902 there were 2551 walnut trees in Vianden at that time, which accounted for 19% or almost one fifth of the country's total walnut tree population. The yield in 1901 in the canton of Vianden was 465 hundredweights of nuts.

There were some nut wholesalers in Vianden who sold the harvest, there were also numerous smaller traders and craftsmen who sold their nuts at the markets of the Ösling or at the weekly market in Luxembourg.

On September 30, 1934, at the suggestion of the Embellishment Society, the last castle lighting of the season was occasionally tested on a nut market. The trial was successful and on 6 October 1935 the first official nut market took place, where nuts were sold in bags of 100 pieces, in paper bags, by the pound, kilo, sester and hundredweight. The success encouraged the organizers to continue to hold the nut market in the following years. After the war, a nut market took place again on 6 October 1946. Most visitors came by train, others in cars or on bicycles, which came from neighbouring villages on foot.

The nut market then took place annually until 1952, when it was temporarily abandoned due to difficulties after a poor harvest and the purchase of foreign nuts of poor quality.

After eighteen years of interruption, the "Syndicat d'Initiative" together with the local associations and the town council revived the "Veiner Nëssmoort" in 1970.

Every year, the nuts are "rubbed, peeled, weaved and threshed" and sold on the nut market at the beginning of October.

The "Nëssdröpp" brandy is made from the young nuts that are picked with the green skin when they are as thick as the tip of the little finger. They are then put on brandy and result in a "Dröpp?2", which is pleasant and stimulating for the stomach.
The preparation of the "Nëssdrëpp" takes a little longer. The "Nëssdrëpp" is made from the young nuts, which are picked with the green peel when they are as thick as the tip of the little finger. They are then put on brandy and, after the necessary ripening, result in the " Nëssdrëpp ", which is pleasant and stimulating for the stomach.

The Vianden nut market takes place every year on the second Sunday in October, except every 6 years when local elections are held, and despite an interruption during the war and in the 1960s, it has become an integral part of Vianden customs.

 

In 2020, the Nut fair takes place on 11th of October.