• Elisabeth Path
    Elisabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
  • Via Nova
    Via Nova ©Verein Europäischer Pilgerweg VIA NOVA
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)
  • The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture
    The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture ©Ammergauer Alpen GmbH
  • 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
  • Castle Frankenstein
    Castle Frankenstein ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Holy Blood Festival in Bad Wurzach
    Holy Blood Festival in Bad Wurzach ©Kurverwaltung Bad Wurzach
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Volkenroda Abbey
    Volkenroda Abbey ©Tourist-Information Waldsassen
  • Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz
    Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz ©Tourist-Information Bad Tölz
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald
    Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald ©Touristinfo Walldürn
  • Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei
    Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg
    Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg ©Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH
  • Andechs Abbey
    Andechs Abbey ©Kloster Andechs
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)

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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