Holidays and Festivals in Germany

Written by Samuel Sjoberg

In many countries, traditional holidays are known internationally. The Americans are famous for July 4, and the French for Bastille Day but what about the Germans?

In between national and traditional German holidays such as Reunification Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit), New Year’s Day (Neujahr), and Easter (Ostern) are lesser known days of celebration.

These holidays range from themes of the environment, cultural, and religious. The first lesser known holiday is European Bicycle Day (Europäischer Tag des Fahrrads, June 3). In the 1980s, it was commissioned by European Cyclist Federation in order to encourage Europeans to ride bikes because of cycling’s social, physical, and environmental benefits. European nations establish bike paths and  tours for those who wish to participate. It has been celebrated for years since and continues to encourage Europeans to ride their bikes.

While celebrated internationally, the Day of Music (Tag der Musik, June 16), is also celebrated in Germany. As it was originally intended, the Day of Music brings together amateurs and professionals musicians. Germany’s exceptional musical history and culture resonates during the annual Day of Music. There are many free concerts and celebrations for participates can attended to enrich their appreciation and understanding of German music.

Exclusive to Germany, and more specifically Augsburg, is the Peace Festival in Augsburg (Hohes Friedensfest in Augsburg). This holiday remembers the violent and troubled history between the Protestant and Catholic groups in the 1500s and 1600s. Aug. 8 marks the day when Protestants lost their religious freedom in the city of Augsburg in 1629. A few hundred years later, in 2018, the day has become a cause for celebration with merrymaking, food, drink, and displays of art with the theme of peace.

 

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