GERMANY >> COUNTRY AND PEOPLE >> GERMAN HOLIDAYS
There are a number of national and regional public holidays. Germany is a predominantly Christian country. Therefore, most celebrations and German holidays are religious festivities. On national public holidays, people in Germany generally do not work but some service industries remain open.
NEW YEARS' DAY
Just like in the U.S., New Years' Day is a federal holiday in Germany.
SPRINGTIME: TWO DAYS BEFORE EASTER SUNDAY
Good Friday (Karfreitag in German) commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is also known as Holy Friday. It is a moveable holiday and celebrated every two days before Easter Sunday. Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the beginning of spring and its first full moon.
Easter Monday (Ostermontag in German) holds religious significance for Christians. It follows Easter Sunday, the day Jesus Christ was resurrected following his crucifixion on Good Friday. It is believed that Jesus remained on earth for 40 days after his resurrection. Just like Good Friday, Easter Monday falls on different dates every year.
Labor Day, or May Day (Tag der Arbeit in German), commemorates the historic struggles and gains made by German workers. Labor Day is also a public holiday in many other countries.
Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt in German) commemorates the ascent of Jesus Christ into heaven on the 40th day after his resurrection. It is a moveable holiday.
MAY 10 - JUNE 13
Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag in German) commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit in the forms of to the Apostles (see Books of Acts). It is a moveable holiday and follows 39 days after Whitsunday.
GERMAN UNITY DAY
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit in German) commemorates Germany's reunification in 1990. The treaty that officially united East and West Germany stipulated October 3, 1990.
DECEMBER 25TH AND 26TH
Christmas celebrations usually last for three days in Germany. The most important day is the 24th of December (Heiligabend in German) even though this day is not a public holiday and the stores remain open half of the day.