2015 Bank Holidays in Germany are determined by the legislation of the individual countries. The exception to this rule is the German Unity Day which is commemorated on the 3rd of October each year.
This holiday has been defined by the federal government according to a treaty that determine the holidays in the Federal Republic of Germany. Other than this day, all the other holidays are determined as per the rules of individual countries. Additionally the Constitution of the land declares all Sundays to be holidays for rest and rejuvenation.
Here is a list of 2015 Bank Holidays in Germany:
New Years Day (Neujahrstag) – New Year celebration in Germany is a mix of traditional customs and modern maelstrom. Squares, roads, pubs, clubs, restaurants and theaters are thronged with thousands of people, local and tourists alike. It is a common custom to enjoy a drink called Feuerzangenbowle on this day which is made by mixing red wine, rum, peel of orange, cloves and cinnamon. Lead pouring is also a tradition that is followed. For that a small amount of lead is made to melt by holding it over flame on a teaspoon. Then that is poured in a bucket or bowl full of water. The shape that the lead takes is believed to predict how the New Year would be. Apart from fireworks, partying, clubbing and pub hopping, Munich hosts classical music concerts for the occasion.
Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) – Epiphany commemorates the day when the Three Kings or the Magi took gifts for Baby Jesus. Churches and homes display a crib with a model of baby Jesus near which they put statues of the Three Kings. Homes are sprinkled with holy water. It is also the custom to draw the initials of the Three Kings (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar) with chalk over doorways. Children dressed as the three Kings and holding a big star visit homes singing the Three Kings’ Song and are treated with cookies, chocolates and sweets. Church singers do the same so to collect money that is used for welfare purposes. This is the day when people take down Christmas décor, and a fun tradition for children and adults alike is to raid Christmas trees for cookies, chocolates and other treats that were kept hanging on the tree for the purpose.
Good Friday (Karfreitag) – This is a quiet day of mourning as the country commemorates the day on which Jesus Christ was crucified. It is a common tradition to include an item of fish in the meal on this day.
Easter Monday (Ostermontag) – Easter is one of the major celebrations in Germany for it is the time when people rejoice the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The preparations start from weeks before, and the celebrations last for a few days afterwards too. As such, the Monday after Easter is a holiday in Germany. Eating sumptuous meal is part of the festivity since it marks the end to the mourning period for Jesus’ crucifixion. Apart from painted eggs, array of confectionaries, chocolate Easter bunnies, the more unique features of Easter in Germany are the Easter Tree and the Easter Fountain or Well. The Easter tree is a small living tree or cutouts from pussy willows or other flowering plants that are then decorated with Easter Eggs, garlands, wreaths and other decorations with an Easter Bunny placed next to it. The Easter Fountain or Well is chosen to be one located in a major part of the city or town, and is decorated in keeping with the Easter theme. The water of this well or fountain is often blessed on Easter Day as a mark of respect towards this Natural Element that is a source of life and its sustenance on Earth.
Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit) – Labor Day in Germany is spent by relaxing with family and friends as people enjoy the warmer months. It is often the time to stay outdoors and have fun picnicking. In some parts of the country there is the tradition of raising the Maypole in the most major location of a twon or city. Maypole is nothing but the trunk or a long narrow tree that is colorfully decorated and posted amidst much fanfare with traditional music and dancing.
Mothers Day (der Tag der Mutter) – Germany started celebrating Mother’s Day since 1922 and the second Sunday of the month of May has been declared a public holiday since 1933. Since case this day coincides with Pentecost, then, the celebrations are preponed to the first Sunday of May. During the rule of Hitler, there was a trend of mother cult and mothers who produced children for the country were awarded with medals. Today the celebrations are intimate ones when people send gifts, cards and flowers to their moms and spend time with them.
Father’s Day (Vatertag) – Father’s Day celebration in Germany had very different connotations in ancient times. However, today it has taken the shape of boys’ day out. People show their love and respect to their father. Often boys get together to go pub hopping.
Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) – Germany too celebrates the event of Jesus’ ascent to Heaven with special prayer services at the churches. Processions carrying torches and banners are held in open lands around churches. It is also the tradition to present the International Charlemagne Prize on this day in the city of Aachen to someone who has made some contribution in humanitarian causes.
Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) – Also known as Pentecost Monday this is the Monday after Pentecost when the Christendom celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. In Germany, apart from the traditional Christian rituals there is a unique custom whereby young men plant a branch of a birch tree on the walls of the house of any young lady they wish to marry. Also, to commemorate the night of unrest, the night before the Whit Monday young people loiter around other people’s properties and may take away any stuff that is not stowed away.
Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) – This is the day that upholds the Eucharist. In Germany, on this day along with regular Church Service, it is often the custom to get bread or wafers blessed which are then carried round the town in colorful processions or parades. Since the year 1435, the city of Cologne has also witnessed the Muelheimer Gottestracht on this day which is a procession of ships on the banks of the river Rhine.
Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) – This is the Christian Feast that upholds the Christian belief that God assumed Virgin Mary to Heaven. On this day bells are chimed in the Churches before the prayer services begin. It is the custom to treat children with ripe hazelnuts and walnuts. People often go out to collect herbs that can be used for culinary or medicinal purposes like thyme, chamomile, clover, etc to be kept in altars or hung in homes.
German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) – Since 1990 the day has celebrated the formation of the Federal Republic of Germany. Politicians and leaders speak before the public to commemorate the occasion. Fireworks create the festive mood. Community services and meals too are held on this day.
Day of Reformation (Reformationstag) – This is the day on which the country commemorates the event in 1517 that brought about a number of socio religious reforms in Europe. On this day the German theologian and social reformer Martin Luther nailed a list of a number of propositions on the church door. The Lutheran and the Reformist Churches hold special services on this day.
All Saints Day (Allerheiligen) – This is the day when the Christians hold special Church services to honor all Christian Saints and Martyrs, especially those who do not have a Special Feast dedicated to their name. This is also the day when people in Germany visit the graves of their ancestors to pay respect.
Repentance Day (Buß- und Bettag) – This is especially observed by the Protestant Christians who spend the day in somber reflection and thoughts.
Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) – This is a day of feasting and fun as the Christendom celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. Homes are decorated, sumptuous meals are cooked, gifts are exchanged and prayer services are attended.
St Stephens Day (Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag) – This is the Feast in the honor of St. Stephen who is considered to be the first Christian martyr. In Germany, this day is also known as the second Christmas Day, as people take the opportunity to the extend the festive fervor.
List of 2015 Bank Holidays in Germany
|Thursday||January 01||New Years Day|
|Friday||April 03||Good Friday|
|Monday||April 06||Easter Monday|
|Friday||May 01||Labor Day|
|Sunday||May 10||Mothers Day|
|Thursday||May 14||Father’s Day|
|Thursday||May 14||Ascension Day|
|Monday||May 25||Whit Monday|
|Thursday||June 04||Corpus Christi|
|Saturday||August 15||Assumption Day|
|Saturday||October 03||German Unity Day|
|Saturday||October 31||Day of Reformation|
|Sunday||November 01||All Saints Day|
|Wednesday||November 18||Repentance Day|
|Friday||December 25||Christmas Day|
|Saturday||December 26||St Stephens Day|