With the temperatures starting to drop, the time has come to start planning for one of our favourite annual events: the Bazar International!
A firm favourite with locals and expats alike, the Bazar International de Luxembourg has been a fixture of the Grand Duchy's cultural and culinary scene for decades. Every year, hundreds of volunteers come together to celebrate Luxembourg's diversity, and raise money for charity work across the world.
The 2023 dates!
Before we dive into the rest of this article, let's get to the question you're all asking: when will the Bazar International be held this year? While last year's edition was held a bit earlier than usual, we're back this year to the classic end-of-November dates.
This year's Bazar International will kick off on Friday 24 November in the evening, and continue through Saturday 25 and Sunday 26November. But that's not all, because there are also...
...leading up to the main event itself!
- Sunday 24 September - Race4Bazar - a cool karting race at the karting tracks of Mondercange, organised by the Romanian stand. There are still a few places left in the junior race (8-14 yo). Check out: eventbrite.
- Sunday 1 October - Tulip bulb sale - from 12pm until 5pm at the residency of the Dutch ambassador, 138, rue de Muguets, Luxembourg (near Kirchberg): Visitors can choose from a wide variety of tulip bulbs or even fill flower pots there. If the weather allows, children can decorate their own flower pot or have their face painted. Of course, drinks will be sold and visitors can enjoy typical Dutch treats like cheese, poffertjes and bitterballen. Free entry and no pre-registration.
- Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 October - Rare book sale - organised by our book stand. Visitors can discover rare and antiquarian books, modern first editions, beautiful art books, erotica, rare children’s books and more. The sale takes place from 10am until 6pm at 25, rue du Moulin in Bofferdange. Important: cash payments only. Free entry and no pre-registration.
- Thursday 12 October - the French stand organises its annual pre-sale - allowing visitors to get in early on the French autumn and winter fashion of jewellery and accessories. It takes place at the residency of the French ambassador at 21, rue Notre Dame in Luxembourg city, from 9.30am until 6pm. Free entry and no pre-registration.
- Thursday 19 October - The original and the best table quiz - organised by the Irish stand at Centre Culturel in Hollerich (rue Emile Lavandier). Teams of six play the quiz so organise five friends and reserve a table! Fun guaranteed! Contact Annette Power, to sign up firstname.lastname@example.org / 691370097. Admission is 15 euros pp (which includes one drink). Sign up soon as there are limited places.
- Sunday 12 November - Sports4Bazar - again organised by the Romanian stand at Sports4Lux in Munsbach. A wonderful paddel and football tournament. Registration will open soon, keep an eye out on our social media.
- Wednesday 15 November - Charity Concert Cercle Munster - Musical recital of opera songs and diner afterwards, also organised by the Romanian stand. Mezzo soprano Ruxandra Barac will sing, accompanied by Katrin Reifenrath on the piano and Cyprien Kaiser on cello. The recital starts at 6.30pm. Costs are 80 euro for the concert and dinner. Please sign up at the Cercle Munster directly: Tel. : (+352) 47 06 43 1
What to expect
For those of you who haven't yet visited the Bazar International (you poor souls!), you might be wondering what to expect. Well, in short, the main event for most of us is of a culinary variety. The Bazar International is a showcase of the best bits of dozens of countries around the world, with around 60 nations represented each year through individual stands.
At the stands you can expect to find delicious traditional food and drink (so make sure to bring both money an an appetite!), as well as an assortment of gifts (for yourself or others). Many of us like to visit the Bazar International to get our Christmas shopping done, as it's an excellent place to find gifts outside of what you can expect from the usual assortment of high street shops. The classic book sale (featuring books in English as well as less common languages) is also a source of unbridled joy for the bookworms among you.
But it's not all about shopping. Charlotte de Vreeze-Nauta (who, in interest of transparency, is Vice President of the Bazar International committee) wrote an excellent article for us last year on why you should visit the Bazar. Beyond the food, drinks, and shopping, there is also fun for the whole family throughout the run of each event - from traditional dance demonstrations, to music, games, and more. Plus, RTL Today and Today Radio will be there again!
More than anything, though, let's not forget that it's all organised for a good cause.
All for charity
Many people recognise the Bazar International for its genuine global cuisine and outstanding Christmas shopping options. However, it might be surprising to learn that the entire event is coordinated and executed by volunteers. From the main organisering committee to the staff at each booth, all participants generously donate their time and expertise.
Speaking to us in 2021 - the first year of our official partnership with the Bazar International - president Carmen Decalf clarified said that “It takes about 1500 volunteers to get the Bazar together, to build each individual stand, decorate them, buy products to be sold, prepare foods, organize tombola's, work in the stands during the Bazar and take down the stand afterwards, etc. The preparations start at least half a year in advance for most stands and turns into a full time job as the event draws nearer."
The earnings from the event go straight to charitable causes. Members of the Bazar International suggest charities to benefit from the funds collected during the event. These nominations undergo a thorough review by the executive team and then need the green light from the entire steering committee. This process ensures that the chosen charities not only make a genuine social difference but also handle the funds responsibly.
On the charitable aspect, Decalf added that "most of the beneficiaries are organisations based in Luxembourg, Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Priority is given to empowering children and women through safety, education, vocational training and medical care. Charities are selected based on the impact they have on their communities, amongst other objectives."
Last year's edition raised €650,000 for humanitarian projects in Luxembourg and abroad.