• Wartburg Castle near Eisenach
    Wartburg Castle near Eisenach ©DZT/Wartburg Stiftung (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
  • St James' Way (Nuremberg-Constance), field of sculptures in Oggelshausen
    St James' Way (Nuremberg-Constance), field of sculptures in Oggelshausen ©Oberschwaben-Tourismus GmbH
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Isis temple in Mainz
    Isis temple in Mainz ©Landesarchäologie Mainz
  • Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church
    Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church ©Pfarramt Wieskirche, Steingaden
  • Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle
    Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle ©TourismusRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e. V., Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin
    St. Bridget's Trail – Schwerin ©DZT/Norbert Krüger
  • 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
  • The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture
    The Ammer Gorge at the 'Scheibum' rupture ©Ammergauer Alpen GmbH
  • Monks' Trail
    Monks' Trail ©Projektbüro mönchsweg
  • Andechs Abbey
    Andechs Abbey ©Kloster Andechs
  • Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei
    Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Worms: Luther statue in the autumn
    Worms: Luther statue in the autumn ©DZT
  • Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains
    Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill
    Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill ©Büro Oeding, Flensburg

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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