• Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride
    Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride ©Kurverwaltung Bad Kötzting
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains
    Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)
  • Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia
    Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH (Jörg Stephan)
  • St. James' Way in the Palatinate
    St. James' Way in the Palatinate ©Tourist Information Speyer
  • 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
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Wartburg Castle near Eisenach
    Wartburg Castle near Eisenach ©DZT/Wartburg Stiftung (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave
    Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave ©Barbarossahöhle
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • Healing gallery at Mount Untersberg
    Healing gallery at Mount Untersberg ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • 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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