on the surprise tractor festival

Moselle Tractor Festival Luxembourg

One of the things I love best about the countryside, is that you can accidentally discover the most wonderfully local, fun and yes, a little odd, events.

Thursday last week was a public holiday here for Ascension Day. The day dawned sunny and warm so we jumped in the car and headed out in the general direction of the Moselle valley, where all the Luxembourg wines and cremant come from.

The Moselle is a slow-flowing winding river that marks the border between Luxembourg and Germany. The only trip we’d ever taken to this country before we moved here last year, was a summer drive along this valley to sample to local wines.

We drove to Remich and then turned north up the Luxembourg side of the river, making plans as we did to next time bring our bikes or better still, make friends with someone with a boat so that we could sail down the river.

A few bends in the road later, we saw a big handwritten sign saying “Grill 500m”. The fact that we’d eaten shortly before we left did not make the sign any less attractive, and as we drove nearer, the hundreds of tractors lined up in the field only made me more excited to stop.

Moselle Tractor Festival Luxembourg

Moselle Tractor Festival Luxembourg

I know I know, hundreds of tractors in a field, exciting?! You’re right, I don’t have a huge interest in tractors. I’ve never driven a tractor, don’t know any more brands than the famous john deere type (and those just from country songs) and considering my track-record with growing plants on our balcony, I would make a rubbish farmer.

But there is little I love more than a random quirky reason to bring a community together to celebrate. And if we’re celebrating tractors? Well, why not?

Actually it seemed to be a dual festival – the grill was manned by the local fire fighters, who’d brought out all their vehicles in the next field, and even treated us to an enthusiastic display by the young fire cadets. The field full of vintage tractors was super fun to wander around, and young country men were taking them out for very slow and shaky drives around the field.

We bought hotdogs and glasses of Luxembourg wine and enjoyed the sun and the river and the generally happy feel there was to this oh-so-wonderfully-local festival… What more could you want on a sunny public holiday?

Bernard Massard Cassis Cremant