Today Luxembourg celebrates the tradition of Liichtmessdag, otherwise known as Candlemass; this is where, normally in late afternoon, children carry lanterns on sticks and sing the song Léiwer Herrgottsblieschen, hoping for gifts of sweets.

The tradition stems from Celtic times when farmers would aks the gods for a bountiful season in the fields, across which they would carry lit torches.

In Ireland, 1 February is traditionally known as St Brigids Day, officially marking the first day of the pagan festival of spring.

Motorists across Luxembourg have been asked to be extra vigilant for children carrying lanterns today, and children have been urged by police to wear reflective clothing to make them more visible.

Photo (above): Police Grand Ducale