The Octave, the country's main religious ceremony, is celebrated in honour of the Virgin Mary. For two weeks, from the 3rd to the 5th Sunday after Easter, thousands of believers from the Greater Region go on pilgrimage to Luxembourg City to visit the statue of the Virgin Mary in the Cathedral “Notre-Dame de Luxembourg”. In honour of the Octave, a market, commonly called "Mäertchen", is organised at Place Guillaume II and Place de la Constitution. The origins of this religious festival date back to the 17th century. At a time when the country was regularly ravaged by epidemics, wars and famine, the Virgin Mary was chosen as the consoler of the afflicted (consolatrix afflictorum).
3rd to 5th Sunday after Easter