• Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle
    Luther Trail – Mansfeld Castle ©TourismusRegion Anhalt-Dessau-Wittenberg e. V., Lutherstadt Wittenberg
  • Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
    Cattle drive (harvest festival) in Oberstaufen
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • On the trail of strong women
    On the trail of strong women ©Stadtmarketing Arnstadt
  • Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church
    Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church ©Pfarramt Wieskirche, Steingaden
  • Altötting Pilgrimage
    Altötting Pilgrimage ©Wallfahrts- und Verkehrsbüro Altötting
  • The Great Aachen Pilgrimage
    The Great Aachen Pilgrimage ©Aachen tourist service e. v.
  • Harz mountain theatre
    Harz mountain theatre ©Koglin
  • Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market
    Ludwigsburg/Neckar: Christmas market ©Ludwigsburg/Neckar Stadtmarketing u. Touristik GmbH
  • Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg
    Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg ©Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH
  • Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill
    Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill ©Büro Oeding, Flensburg
  • All Saints' Church in Soest
    All Saints' Church in Soest ©Tourist-Information Soest
  • Castle Frankenstein
    Castle Frankenstein ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei
    Pilgrimage lands of Sammarei ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Andechs Abbey
    Andechs Abbey ©Kloster Andechs
  • Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten
    Mounted Procession of the Holy Blood in Weingarten ©Stadt Weingarten, Amt für Kultur und Tourismus
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.

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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