At the beginning of each year we find ourselves looking at the calendar and searching for holidays. The more holidays we get the better.
Yes, that’s how much they mean to us. Each and every person requires a break from their daily routine and busy schedule. Holiday provides that much needed break. People either spend such days relaxing at home or they go on trips.
Bank holidays are public holidays in which all the banks remain officially closed by the law passed by state legislation. The workers are allowed to stay back home without being answerable to anyone. Usually those who choose to work even on a holiday are paid an extra amount.
According to the German Constitution, the banks and post offices in Germany are bound to remain closed on every Sundays and public holidays. Just like the people in other countries, Germans too celebrate their holidays lavishly and in a grand manner.
Here’s a list of Germany’s bank holidays in 2017:
|Holidays in Germany||Date||Description|
|New Year’s Day||1st Jan 2017||The New Year’s Day is also known as “Neujahr” or “Neujahrstag” in Germany. This day is the first day of a year in the Georgian Calendar and is a public holiday. Many people celebrate the starting of a whole new year by going to pubs and parties at midnight. Most of these parties last till the wee hours. Many people prefer to spend the rest of the day relaxing at home with their family which is usually followed by family lunch or evening meal. The celebrations also include firework shows for the citizens, concerts and many more.|
|Epiphany||6th January 2017||“Epiphany, also known as “Epiphanias” or “Erscheinung des Herrn” is a public holiday. On this very day, the three wise men or the Magi’s visited baby Jesus Christ. People attend church services. The backyards of houses are decorated with idols and cribs in order to portray the scene. Children dressed as Magi’s visits houses and chant hymns to collect money for charities. People also drink a special beer called bockbier on this day.|
|Good Friday||14th April 2017||” Good Friday or “Karfreitag” marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. This day is observed on the Friday which comes just before the Easter Sunday. It is a day of mourning. People attend special church services on this day. Plays narrating the story leading to the crucifixion are enacted in many areas. It is a Tradition to have fish instead of meat on this day. It is also the beginning of a long weekend. Many people take this opportunity to go on a small vacation.|
|Easter Monday||17th April 2017||” Easter Monday, also known as “Ostermontag” is a public holiday in Germany. It is observed on the Monday that comes right after the Easter Sunday. This day marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ. People take part in early morning candle-lit parades which is followed by church services. In villages, egg races are held on this day. The mourning period comes to an end with festivities. Huge meals are arranged. Eating Easter eggs and bunnies made out of candy and chocolate is a common tradition. Moreover people who had gone on vacations return home on this day as the weekend comes to an end.|
|Labor Day||1st May 2017||“In Germany this day is also known as “Tag der Arbeit”. This day celebrates the worker’s rights. Labor Day coincides with the May Day in Germany. Festivities include preparing of Maypoles which are branches wrapped in ribbons. Other festivities include bonfires and spending the night out. People also take part in rallies to campaign for worker’s rights.|
|Mother’s Day||14th May 2017||“Mother’s Day also known as “Tag der Mutter” in Germany was declared to be a public holiday in 1933. It is celebrated to acknowledge the endless efforts and support of mothers and mother figures. It is traditionally celebrated on the second Sunday of May. However if Pentecost happens to be on the same day, it gets pre-phoned to the first Sunday. People usually gift cards, flowers, chocolates and various gifts to their mother in order to convey their love.|
|Father’s Day||25th May 2017||“This day is also known as “Vatertag” in Germany and is celebrated in the honor of fathers and father figures. People gift cards, chocolates, pieces of clothing, watches, wine bottles, story books and various other gifts to their father in order to convey their appreciation for providing constant support.|
|Ascension Day||25th May 2017||“Ascension Day is also known as “Christi Himmelfahrt” in Germany. It is a public holiday that marks the day on which Jesus Christ had ascended into Heaven. It is celebrated 39 days after the Easter Sunday. People are seen to attend special church services on this day and in rural areas people take part in religious processions. On this day the International Charlemagne Prize is given to someone who had made a significant contribution towards humanity and world peace. It is presented in the city of Aachen. It coincides with the Father’s Day.|
|Whit Monday||5th June 2017||Whit Monday also known as “Pfingstmontag” comes two days after Pentecost which is also known as Whit Sunday. As per Bible, it commemorates the descent of the Holy Ghost on the disciples of Jesus Christ. Traditionally celebrations take place in church throughout the week. On this day young men nail branches of birch on the walls of young women’s house that they want to marry. The night before this day is known to be a night of unrest and it was believed that evil spirits became powerful on this night.|
|Corpus Christi||15th June 2017||“This day is also called “Fronleichnam” is celebrated in the honor of the Eucharist. It is a public holiday and is celebrated 60 days after the Easter Sunday. Many people attend special church services. After that, blessed sacrament which consists of breads or wafers is paraded outside. Since 1435 processions by ships take place on the Rhine river in Cologne. This is called “Muelheimer Gottestracht”. People can even take a ride on a few ships in this procession.|
|Assumption Day||15th August 2017||Assumption day, also known as “Maria Himmelfahrt” is another Christian holiday. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary is celebrated in honor of the moment when the soul and body of Mary went to heaven. People attend special church services on this day and religious parades are also held in some parts. It is a tradition to give ripe walnuts and hazelnuts to children. People are also seen collecting various herbs that has medicinal properties and are also used in cooking. Some of these herbs are also placed by alters.|
|German Unity day||3rd October 2017||“Also known as the “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” is held annually to mark the unification of the nation. On this day the Democratic Republic of Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany came together to create Federal Germany on 3rd October, 1990. The festivities include concerts, firework shows, speeches by leaders and communal meals. Many mosques are open to the general public on this day.|
|Day of Reformation||31st October 2017||“This holiday is also called the “Reformationstag” in Germany. It marks the religious reformation that took place all over Europe. On this day in 1517, Marin Luther, the German monk and theologian, had nailed a list of his proposals on the church doors. This event marked the beginning of social and religious changes in Europe. Special church services are attended by the members of Lutheran churches while others use this day to visit places and go shopping.|
|All Saint’s Day||1st November 2017||“Also known as “Allerheiligen”, the All Saints Day is celebrated to honor the lives of Christian saints. People pay tributes to their deceased relatives and also light candles in church remembering them. They also visit the graves which are often decorated with flowers and candles on this day. People also attend special church services to pray for the eternal peace of their deceased friends and relatives. People also pray for the peace of martyrs who do not have family of their own.|
|Repentance Day||22nd November 2017||“This day is called the Day of Prayer and Repentance or “Buss-und Bettag” and is a public holiday in Saxony, Germany. It is celebrated 11 days before the beginning of the Advent. Protestant Christians spend the whole day praying and engaging their minds in deep and quite thoughts. While people of Saxony spend this holiday with their friends and family. However this day is not a holiday for rest of the Germany.|
|Christmas Day||25th December 2017||Christmas Day is also known as “Weihnachtstag” is a public holiday all over Germany and celebrates the birth of baby Jesus. This day is filled with fun and frolic. The whole family comes together for a large meal and the tables are set with traditional delicacies which include Roasted goose or duck with stuffing, boiled potatoes, dumplings and many more dishes. Houses are decorated which includes nut crackers, Christmas trees, cribs and Christmas pyramids. People attend church services and sing Christmas carols.|
|St. Stephen’s Day||26th December 2017||“This holiday is also known as “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” and is celebrated remembering St Stephen who is considered to be the very first Christian martyr. People usually spend this day relaxing at home with friends and family. Some people also attend special church services on this day.|