• Wartburg Castle near Eisenach
    Wartburg Castle near Eisenach ©DZT/Wartburg Stiftung (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
  • Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten
    Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten ©Stadt Weingarten, Amt für Kultur und Tourismus
  • All Saints' Church in Soest
    All Saints' Church in Soest ©Tourist-Information Soest
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Andechs Abbey
    Andechs Abbey ©Kloster Andechs
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg
    Externsteine rocks in Horn-Bad Meinberg ©Kulturagentur des Landesverbandes Lippe
  • Worms: Luther statue in the autumn
    Worms: Luther statue in the autumn ©DZT
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Holy Blood Festival in Bad Wurzach
    Holy Blood Festival in Bad Wurzach ©Kurverwaltung Bad Wurzach
  • Elisabeth Path
    Elisabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church
    Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church ©Pfarramt Wieskirche, Steingaden
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia
    Easter cavalcade in Bautzen, Upper Lusatia ©Marketing-Gesellschaft Oberlausitz-Niederschlesien mbH (Jörg Stephan)
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)

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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