LUNALIA is the Festival of Flanders Mechelen’s new city festival, the successor to Mechelen hoort Stemmen. The name refers both to the Mechelen legend of the ‘Maneblussers’ (luna), and to the fascinating universe of the human voice (lia). In other words, it is still an international festival of voices, but in times of alleged ‘fake news’, this Festival consciously goes in search of voices that have something genuine, something real, to say. So it is not just about the ‘loveliest songs’ - instead it explores every aspect of speaking, singing, hesitant, strident or very soft human voices.

The next edition of LUNALIA takes place from 18 April to 5 May 2024.
The new program will be announced in late November 2023 at

The Legend of the Mechelen Maneblussers

On the night of 27-28 January 1687, St. Rumbold’s Tower was wreathed in fog. A reveller came stumbling out of a tavern onto the market square, somewhat the worse for wear. Suddenly he saw that the tower was on fire. He immediately sounded the alarm.

The city was in uproar. The city council, headed by the mayor, organised a bucket chain at breakneck speed. Buckets of water passed from hand to hand up the tower staircase, but before they had even reached the top, the moon came out from behind a bank of fog and the fiery glow disappeared...

The courageous citizens of Mechelen had seen nothing more than a reddish gleam in the fog: they had been trying to extinguish the moon! The news travelled far beyond the country’s borders. And even today, the people of Mechelen are nicknamed ‘Maneblussers’, the people who tried to extinguish the moon.