Two different types of statutory holidays exist in Germany, either religious or political. Some of them are nationwide while others are to be found only in certain federal states. If the fixed date falls on a Sunday for instance, then that day off is lost for most of the workforce, since the day is free anyway. Celebrations that are not days off include Thanksgiving, St Martins, Halloween and Nicolas. Regional vacations that are include Carneval Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) in North Rhine Westphalia.
Political holidays are fixed to a date and include Labour Day, which is officially called “day of the confession of freedom and peace, social justice, national reconciliation and human dignity”. Unification Day is another. Since 1990, October 3 is celebrated as Day of German Unification because this was the year when the reunion of East and West Germany became effective after 40 years of separation throughout the Cold War.
Religious holidays are notable in that both Protestant and Catholic celebrations receive equal representation throughout Germany. Protestant and Catholic Christian belief stamped most holidays, such as Easter, All Saint’s or Christmas. Other festivities have more pagan or rural origins. These holidays follow the church calendar.
Dates include January 1: New Year (Neujahr); March or April: Good Friday (Karfreitag) and Easter Monday (Ostermontag); May 1: Labour Day (Maifeiertag); May or June: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt); June: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag); Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam); October 3: Unification Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit); Novemer1: All Saint’s Day (Allerheiligen); December 25: Christmas Day (1. Weihnachtstag); December 26: Boxing Day (2. Weihnachtstag).