• Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • St James' Way (Nuremberg-Constance), field of sculptures in Oggelshausen
    St James' Way (Nuremberg-Constance), field of sculptures in Oggelshausen ©Oberschwaben-Tourismus GmbH
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • Healing gallery at Mount Untersberg
    Healing gallery at Mount Untersberg ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • ©Haus kirchlicher Dienste der Ev.-luth. Landeskirche Hannovers
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • St. James' Way in the Palatinate
    St. James' Way in the Palatinate ©Tourist Information Speyer
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Via Nova
    Via Nova ©Verein Europäischer Pilgerweg VIA NOVA
  • Castle Frankenstein
    Castle Frankenstein ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • Monks' Trail
    Monks' Trail ©Projektbüro mönchsweg
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz
    Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz ©Tourist-Information Bad Tölz
  • The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture
    The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture ©Ammergauer Alpen GmbH
  • Elisabeth Path
    Elisabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
  • Volkenroda Abbey
    Volkenroda Abbey ©Tourist-Information Waldsassen
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg

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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