• Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • Maria Alm Pilgrimage
    Maria Alm Pilgrimage ©Berchtesgadener Land Tourismus GmbH
  • Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride
    Bad Kötzting Whitsun Ride ©Kurverwaltung Bad Kötzting
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten
    Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten ©Stadt Weingarten, Amt für Kultur und Tourismus
  • Andechs Abbey
    Andechs Abbey ©Kloster Andechs
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz
    Leonhardi Ride in Bad Tölz ©Tourist-Information Bad Tölz
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • Isis temple in Mainz
    Isis temple in Mainz ©Landesarchäologie Mainz
  • Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle
    Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle ©TourismusRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e. V., Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • Goseck information centre
    Goseck information centre ©Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt (Liptak, Pie und Hunold)
  • Worms: Luther statue in the autumn
    Worms: Luther statue in the autumn ©DZT
  • Wartburg Castle near Eisenach
    Wartburg Castle near Eisenach ©DZT/Wartburg Stiftung (Bildarchiv Monheim GmbH)
  • Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market
    Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market ©Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH
  • The Great Aachen Pilgrimage
    The Great Aachen Pilgrimage ©Aachen tourist service e. v.
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009

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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