• ©Haus kirchlicher Dienste der Ev.-luth. Landeskirche Hannovers
  • ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)
  • ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • ©Barbarossahöhle
  • ©Tourist-Information Bad Tölz
  • ©Kurverwaltung Bad Kötzting
  • ©Tourist-Information Waldsassen
  • ©Koglin
  • ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • ©Verein Europäischer Pilgerweg VIA NOVA
  • ©Landesarchäologie Mainz
  • ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • ©Büro Oeding, Flensburg
  • ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
  • ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • ©Kulturagentur des Landesverbandes Lippe

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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