German Unity Day – October 3
In 1990, Oct. 3 was declared German Unity Day in the Unification Treaty. As Germany’s national holiday it is supposed to commemorate German unification and the accession of the German Democratic Republic to German Federal Republic which became effective on Oct. 3, 1990. On that day, the East German states Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Thuringia and Berlin new states of the Federal Republic of Germany. After the Fall of the Wall, Nov. 9, the actual day on which the fall fell in 1989, had also been discussed as the new national holiday. However, it was decided that this date was not suitable because it is the date of the Reichskristallnacht in 1938.
Reformation Day – Oct. 31
Reformation Day is celebrated by protestant Christians in Germany and Austria to commemorate the reformation of the church by Martin Luther. In Switzerland, Reformation Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in November and, despite slight differences in beliefs, it is also associated with Luther’s reformation in Wittenberg. This year, protestant Christian celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s reformation. Therefore, Oct. 31 is a holiday in all German states this year and not only in predominantly protestant states.
All Saints’ Day
All Saints’ Day is a Christian holiday which commemorates and celebrates all saints. Western churches celebrate it on Nov. 1, orthodox churches on the first Sunday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is a so-called “festum sanctissimi,” i.e. a holiday celebrated in al dioceses of the Roman Catholic Church and a principal feast of the Anglican Church. The liturgical color is white. Lutheran and other Protestant Churches also celebrate it to commemorate the saints.
In the predominantly Roman-Catholic German states Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, All Saints# Day is a so-called quiet holiday. That means that no public events with dancing are allowed and no loud music may be played. In Bavaria, dancing is forbidden between 2 a.m. and midnight on that day.
Other holidays in 2017
Dec. 25 and 26: Christmas.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock: Maridav; antoine-photographe; steschum