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Luxembourg: Echternach, traditional “dancing procession” with 39 bands and 138 dance teams

The sun was shining in Echternach this morning and the traditional “dancing procession” in honour of St Willibrord could cross the centre of the town in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Thousands of people participated in the dancing procession, and just as many watched this traditional religious festival that is being held since the XVI century on Whit Tuesday. 39 music teams or bands and 138 dance groups participated in this year’s edition: pilgrims, associations, parish groups who walked most of the night to reach Echternach. Dressed in white shirts, in rows of five abreast and holding the ends of white handkerchiefs, the groups would “jump” from left to right and slowly move forward. They left the courtyard of the Abbey of Echternach at 9.30am, with the last groups arriving in the square in front of the Basilica at about 1pm. The procession started with an address by Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg, who went on to preside the Mass in the Basilica after the arrival of the last dancers. The celebration in Echternach was also attended by a number of cardinals and bishops from the neighbouring dioceses, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

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