Allerheiligen

Allerheiligen is celebrated on 1st November each year. It is a public holiday in a number of western Bundesländer, and has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church since the 9th Century.

The next day is Allerseelen (2nd November), and it is on these days that people visit and tend to the graves of their deceased relatives.

It is not a public holiday in Hessen and as such many people from the neighbouring Bundesländer come here to go shopping!

To hear a simple explanation and short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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Der Reformationstag

The Reformationstag is celebrated on 31st October each year. It is the day on which in 1517 Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, critising certain aspects of the Catholic Church and thus starting the Reformation in Germany.

It is a bank holiday mainly in the eastern part of the country.

To hear a simple explanation in German, listen to the podcast:

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Tag der Deutschen Einheit

The Tag der Deutschen Einheit (“Day of German Unity”) is celebrated each year as a public holiday on 3rd October. In 1990 it replaced the previous holidays of 17th June in West Germany and 7th October in East Germany.

The main celebrations are held in the capital city of a different state each year.

The date was chosen arbitrarily and celebrates the day in 1990 when re-unification took place. Celebrating the day the Berlin Wall fell was felt inappropriate, as by co-incidence it is also the anniversary of the Reichspogromnacht in 1938.

To hear a simple explanation in German, listen to the podcast:

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