Every year on October 31, five German states come together to celebrate Reformation Day. With the country’s tumultuous and nuanced history, one might be wondering just which reformative event is being celebrated, or why only about a third of the country is celebrating. Intended to answer these questions and more, here is a brief history of Germany’s Reformation Day.
Reformation Day is an official public holiday observing the Protestant Reformation, as enacted by the German monk, Martin Luther. Specifically, Germany’s Reformation Day marks the anniversary of the day when he nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg in 1517. He did so on the eve of All Saints Day, which falls on November 1st, because he knew that many people would be congregating at the church, and this ensured maximum visibility of his theses. Luther was predominantly interested in abolishing the sale of indulgences as a means of seeking absolution for sins. In Luther’s day, it was widely known that the money was used to fund renovations on St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, which illustrates just how corrupt the practice of selling indulgences was. The 95 Theses, however, listed many other additional grievances that Luther harbored against the church.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This momentous event spawned significant changes for Germany and beyond, as Lutheranism and other Protestant factions began to emerge in opposition to the Catholic Church, which had indeed grown rather tyrannical at the time that these protests were made. While Luther wrote the theses in Latin, it was promptly translated into German and widely distributed across the country and beyond. The period of Reformation played out in significant social, historical, and religious ways over the subsequent century, until 1648. Multiple Protestant sects emerged from the wave of reformation, and the role of the church in mediating God’s presence in the lives of the people was radically scrutinized.
Beginning as early as 1567, Protestant churches of various orders have held a day each fall in commemoration of the posting of the 95 Theses. In contemporary times, however, Reformation Day is observed on October 31st in most places. Each year, the holiday is celebrated in at the state level in Germany. Five states, which include Brandenburg, Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, and Saxony-Anhalt, are the places in the country where Reformation Day is an official holiday. These five states are historically Protestant and saw major shifts in social and cultural life following the 95 Theses.
Today, these regions honor Reformation Day by giving people a holiday from work and school. Additionally, public institutions like banks and post offices are also shut in observance of this day. In these places and elsewhere, Lutheran and Reformed Churches often hold special commemorative services. The symbolic color used to represent the day is red, in allusion to the Holy Spirit. The hymn, A Mighty Fortress is our God is commonly sung in homage to Luther who wrote it. Plenty of breads, cakes, and sweet treats are also traditionally consumed on this day in Luther’s honor.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.