Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie opened the 56th International Bazaar of Luxembourg on Saturday, 26 November at the Luxexpo Centre. This bazaar consisted of 60 stands with clothing, jewellery, and food from some 50 countries.
From Argentina to Venezuela, the two royals walked about the market. The International Bazaar of Luxembourg was first conceived in the 1960’s by small church bazaars. In post-war Luxembourg, the country was working to grow its participation in European affairs. The country’s population was growing, particularly with young, foreign European officials. The International Bazaar was an organisation which grew from those young foreign residents.
The organisation itself is secular, voluntary, independent, and a charitable organisation. It first came to the attention of the Grand Ducal Family after the 1962 bazaar where 75,000 Luxembourgish francs were raised for a single charity, which was called “Clinique d’enfants, Fondation Jean-Josephine Charlotte.” In 1967, it was placed under the high patronage of Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte and continues today under the high patronage of Grand Duchess Maria Teresa.
During their tour of the bazaar, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa and Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie were accompanied by Xavier Bettel and his husband, the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Mars di Bartolomeo. The Mayor of Luxembourg, Lydie Polfer, was also in attendance. Profits from this year’s bazaar will benefit 86 charities from Luxembourg and around the globe. However, a particular focus will be to raise funds for the Vietnamese charity, “Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation Hanoi.” This charity assists Vietnamese street children and underage victims of sex trafficking.
Regarding the distribution of profits, translated from the Grand Ducal website: “The proceeds are used to finance a number of charitable projects, including projects carried out by associations in Luxembourg. Priority is given to women, children and families.”
The bazaar remained open until Sunday and closed Sunday evening with a performance by Beam, an Israeli-Luxembourgish jazz band. They performed in the auditorium of the Banque de Luxembourg.