• Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture
    The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture ©Ammergauer Alpen GmbH
  • Via Sacra: reizen zonder grenzen door eeuwen van bezinning
    Via Sacra ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH
  • Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia
    Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH (Jörg Stephan)
  • Monks' Trail
    Monks' Trail ©Projektbüro mönchsweg
  • Volkenroda Abbey
    Volkenroda Abbey ©Tourist-Information Waldsassen
  • Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei
    Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Maria Alm Pilgrimage
    Maria Alm Pilgrimage ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market
    Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market ©Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH
  • Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg
    Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg ©Kulturagentur des Landesverbandes Lippe
  • Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride
    Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride ©Kurverwaltung Bad Kötzting
  • St. James' Way in the Palatinate
    St. James' Way in the Palatinate ©Tourist Information Speyer
  • Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle
    Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle ©TourismusRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e. V., Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin
    St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin ©DZT/Norbert Krüger
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald
    Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald ©Touristinfo Walldürn

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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