German Unity Day

September 26, 2012 by

Festivals & Events, Things To Do, Unforgettable Experiences

German Unity Day. Photo courtesy of cameronparkins via Flickr.

German Unity Day. Photo courtesy of cameronparkins via Flickr.

Celebrating the official reunification of Germany that took place in 1990 after the Berlin Wall came down a year earlier in November of 1989, German Unity Day is a national holiday that kicks off with gusto every October.

Originally, there was some thought of celebrating the anniversary of the fall of the wall (November 9th) rather than the formal political re-alliance between east and west. However, the former date was also the anniversary of Kristallnacht (the large-scale Nazi-led pogroms against Jews in 1938), so October 3rd was selected as the date.

A national holiday celebrating the confederation of German states dates back to the completion of the Constitution of the Weimar Republic on July 31st, 1919. While some years (even decades) have seen interruptions in or imposed mutations of the traditional celebrations of nationhood and unity, the modern incarnation has been consistent since East and West Germany were most recently made whole again.

The site of celebrations today travels in accordance with the rotation of German states presiding over the Bundesrat in each respective year. There are also regular festivities celebrated in Berlin each June around the Brandenburg Gate. Unlike most other countries, military parades, flags, fireworks and other militaristic expressions of national pride are not common in Germany, but fear not, they know how to party, and you’re not likely to be without good cheer, good beer and good food, even if you’re new to the country. Depending on the arrangement of the calendar each year, the festivities can also coincide with the conclusion of the famous Oktoberfest beer festival in Munich.

- John Reality

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