• All Saints' Church in Soest
    All Saints' Church in Soest ©Tourist-Information Soest
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave
    Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave ©Barbarossahöhle
  • Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market
    Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market ©Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten
    Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten ©Stadt Weingarten, Amt für Kultur und Tourismus
  • Isis temple in Mainz
    Isis temple in Mainz ©Landesarchäologie Mainz
  • St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin
    St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin ©DZT/Norbert Krüger
  • Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia
    Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH (Jörg Stephan)
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride
    Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride ©Kurverwaltung Bad Kötzting
  • Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz
    Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz ©Tourist-Information Bad Tölz
  • Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg
    Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg ©Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains
    Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)

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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