• Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill
    Historic Oxen Trail – Flensburg, Törning mill ©Büro Oeding, Flensburg
  • Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald
    Holy Blood pilgrimage to Walldürn/Odenwald ©Touristinfo Walldürn
  • Elisabeth Path
    Elisabeth Path ©Elisabethpfad e.V., Hainau
  • Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage
    Holzkirchen candle pilgrimage ©Touristinfo Ortenburg
  • Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture
    Nebra Ark – large-scale full moon sculpture © Arche Nebra (J. Lipták)
  • All Saints' Church in Soest
    All Saints' Church in Soest ©Tourist-Information Soest
  • Oberammergau
    Oberammergau ©Panthermedia (Ebehard S.)
  • Castle Frankenstein
    Castle Frankenstein ©Burg Frankenstein/Medianet World
  • Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave
    Kyffhäuser hills/Barbarossa's Cave ©Barbarossahöhle
  • St. Crescentia's Way
    St. Crescentia's Way
  • Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg
    Via Claudia Augusta – Renaissance town hall in Augsburg ©Regio Augsburg Tourismus GmbH
  • Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
    Benedict Trail – Lake Chiemsee, Fraueninsel island
  • The Great Aachen Pilgrimage
    The Great Aachen Pilgrimage ©Aachen tourist service e. v.
  • Vogtei sacrificial site
    Vogtei sacrificial site ©Zweckverband Mittelpunkt Deutschland, Niederdorla
  • Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains
    Walpurgis Night in the Harz mountains ©Stadt Thale (Behrens)
  • Rose garden in Ohlsdorf
    Rose garden in Ohlsdorf ©Hamburger Friedhöfe (AöR) 2009
  • Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church
    Walking pilgrimage, Wieskirche church ©Pfarramt Wieskirche, Steingaden
  • Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage
    Kevelaer motorcycle pilgrimage ©Motorradwallfahrt Kevelaer
  • Fontane Route
    Fontane Route ©Pilgern bewegt e. V.
  • Mainz Cathedral
    Mainz Cathedral ©Bistum Mainz

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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