Reformationstag – The 500th Anniversary

On 31st October, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses criticising aspects of the Catholic Church to the church door in Wittenberg, in what is now Saxony-Anhalt (Sachsen-Anhalt).
In doing so, he started the Reformation in Germany, something still very visible today with churches for Catholic and Protestant (evanglisch) congregations, and even separate Religious Educations lessons in school for children depending on which religion they belong to.
It is a public holiday in the Eastern part of Germany, in some other areas school either close completely or allow their pupils time off to go to church.
This year is different.  For the 500th anniversary, the day has been made a national public holiday, although technically what has happened is that each of the areas, where it is not normally a holiday, as passed a by-law to make it such just for this year.  Schools and shops will be closed for the day, with some parts of Germany enjoying a double holiday with All Saints Day being a regional holiday as well.
10 Years ago I recorded a podcast about the Reformationstag in German.  Click here to listen to it.

 

Christi Himmelfahrt

Christi Himmelfahrt is known in English as Ascension Day. It is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Monday.

The name comes from the New Testament, where it is described how Jesus ascended to heaven having shown himself to his aspostles 40 days after the resurrection.

The day is a bank holiday in all of Germany as has been since 1936, although it was not celebrated in the GDR between 1967 and 1989.

The day is also known as Vatertag – Father’s Day and many clubs and organisations hold their annual parties, open days or outings on this day.

In 2008 Christi Himmelfahrt fell on the same day as Maifeiertag!

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

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Buß- und Bettag

Buß- und Bettag is a day celebrated in the Evangelical Church. It is a day on which to change one’s direction and to turn to God as the Church year comes to an end and we move towards Advent.

It was previously a national holiday, but this was changed from 1995 onwards to finance the new Pflegeversicherung. It remains a holiday in Saxony.

Many families start their Christmas preparations on this day, for example they bake the first Christmas biscuits.

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

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

By continuing to use this website site, you agree to the use of cookies. [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details.

Close