• Isis temple in Mainz
    Isis temple in Mainz ©Landesarchäologie Mainz
  • St. James' Way in the Palatinate
    St. James' Way in the Palatinate ©Tourist Information Speyer
  • Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave
    Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave ©Barbarossahöhle
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church
    Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church ©Pfarramt Wieskirche, Steingaden
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia
    Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH (Jörg Stephan)
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)
  • Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald
    Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald ©Touristinfo Walldürn
  • Via Nova
    Via Nova ©Verein Europäischer Pilgerweg VIA NOVA
  • Castle Frankenstein
    Castle Frankenstein ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle
    Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle ©TourismusRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e. V., Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg
    Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg ©Kulturagentur des Landesverbandes Lippe
  • Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg
    Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg ©Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH
  • Elisabeth Path
    Elisabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau

Traditions and customs unite generations

Christian traditions and customs always leave visitors with memorable moments to cherish. In Germany too, there are many religious festivals and events all year round which combine tradition, customs, faith and culture.

Traditions and customs are usually dictated by feast days or festivals in the calendar and many have religious origins: carnival, Easter, Whitsun, town fairs, All Saints' Day or Christmas, to name but a few, were and still are the main festivals according to rural traditions. Pilgrimages, a feature of many religions, are a traditional journey that expresses religious devotion or fulfils a holy command. Pilgrimages were a major phenomenon in the Middle Ages and still play an important role in Christian life as a testimony of faith. Every year, the veneration surrounding St. James' grave in Santiago de Compostela attracts millions of pilgrims from all over the world along a broad network of interwoven pilgrimage routes, throughout the whole of Europe – as it has done for more than 1,000 years. The German section of St. James' Way takes pilgrims to historical towns and cities with famous art treasures such as Trier, Cologne and Aachen. Almost everywhere there are magical places associated with great deeds or miracles, witches and sorcerers, even devils and demons, and sites where sacrifices and religious rituals are said to have occurred. There are enigmatic places where pagan festivals and solstice celebrations were once held, which are often embellished with fairytales, myths, sagas and legends and impart a certain air of magic and mystery.

Traditions, customs, pilgrimages and magical places – still as fascinating today as ever.

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