• Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill
    Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill ©Büro Oeding, Flensburg
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains
    Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • St. James' Way in the Palatinate
    St. James' Way in the Palatinate ©Tourist Information Speyer
  • Via Sacra: un viaje sin fronteras a través de los siglos que invita a la reflexión
    Via Sacra ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH
  • Maria Alm Pilgrimage
    Maria Alm Pilgrimage ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave
    Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave ©Barbarossahöhle
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten
    Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten ©Stadt Weingarten, Amt für Kultur und Tourismus
  • The Great Aachen Pilgrimage
    The Great Aachen Pilgrimage ©Aachen tourist service e. v.
  • Via Nova
    Via Nova ©Verein Europäischer Pilgerweg VIA NOVA
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • All Saints' Church in Soest
    All Saints' Church in Soest ©Tourist-Information Soest
  • Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market
    Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market ©Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.

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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