OFFICIAL GERMAN HOLDIAYS
The Sunday and Public holidays are what you would need to take a break from your fast and furious life in Germany. You must keep in mind the public holidays after your arrival in Germany which will then help you in making plans for a weekend getaway or scheduling the language lessons or simply relax and make the best of your German national holidays. Also, get to know of the significance of each and every German public holiday and take part in its celebration with the locals. This tends to deepen your bond with the locals along with establishing a mutual understanding. Below is a list of German public holidays that will be observed in the year 2019.
The New Year’s fest or Neujahrstag (January 1) and Epiphany (January 6) are observed in the month of January. The Epiphany is called the “Three Kings Day” and is a Christian celebration. This is considered to be the end of Christmas and marks the arrival of three wise men in Bethlehem bringing gifts for Lord Jesus. The schools and businesses are generally found to be closed on these days.
The 4th of March is observed as Fasching in Germany. It is the carnival season and the date depends on the fall of Easter. Parties, celebrations, parades costumes, etc. are what together embrace this celebration. Although it is celebrated by a lot of people, it is not considered as a public holiday.
The Good Friday (19th April) is celebrated by each and every German State and this year, it is observed on 19th April, marking the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Good Friday takes place just two days before the Easter Sunday. Three days after the Good Friday occurs the Easter Monday (22nd April). This falls on different dates in a year and schools and businesses are closed on this day. Celebration of the Easter Monday is followed by candle parades, egg races and other customs.
The 1st of May is observed as International Worker’s Day and has been considered as a public holiday in Germany since 1933. Interesting thing is that even before 1933, this was celebrated by many German workers for many decades. Another significance of May is the Mother’s day which is celebrated on every second Sunday of May. The Mother’s day was again recognized in Germany in the year 1933.
Moving on to June, here comes the Whit Monday on the 10th of June. Also known as Pentecost Monday, it is celebrated after 50 days of Easter and considered to be the end of the season. Church services and spring fests are what make this holiday special. After 60 days of the Easter Sunday is celebrated the Corpus Christi (This year April 20th). This is a very ancient kind of festival dating back to the 13th century.
The month of August brings with itself the Peace festival (August 8 every year). It is celebrated to commemorate the ban on Protestants in 1629 for practicing religion in Augsburg. Another one is the Assumption day (August 15) that commemorates Mary leaving her life and the assumption of her body in heaven.
Nothing to celebrate in September but here comes the Day of German Unity on the 3rd of October commemorating the reunified Germany after fall of Berlin wall in the year 1989. The festival is celebrated joyously around the Brandenburg Gate with activities like horse riding, theater activities, karaoke, etc. And to say a goodbye, Reformation day is celebrated on 31st of October to commemorate Martin Luther’s reformation movement of 16th century.
The dawn of the month of November is marked by the All Saint’s Day (November 1) and as its name suggests, it is a Christian holiday. The holy day is devoted to remember and pray for the departed worshippers. On this day, families decorate the graves of their loved ones and enjoy the meal together afterwards. The day also involves church services. The Day of Prayer and Repentance (November 20) is celebrated every last Wednesday of the month of November. It was considered as a public holiday from 1990 to 1994 in the entire Germany. But now, it is considered as a public holiday in the state of Saxony only.
After all these Christian festivals, is it really necessary to mention what the month of December brings forth? Well, it’s Christmas Party! The Christmas Day (December 25) is a public holiday in Germany and is celebrated in the same way as it is celebrated in any other nation. Following the Christmas is the Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day (December 26). The reason why it is called St. Stephen’s Day is that he was the first Christian martyr being convicted for blasphemy of Gods and Moses.
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