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November 1: Allerheiligen – All Saints Day

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All Saints is a Catholic holiday. It is a public holiday in those federal states that are historically and predominantly Catholic: Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland. In these five states, but only in these, shops remain closed and public transport runs on Sunday schedule. Everywhere else November 1 is a normal workday. “Border hopping” for a shopping spree is popular among people who have the day off but live close to states that don’t.

By All Saints, the graves of Catholics have to be prepared for winter and decorated with an eternal light, a candle in a red transparent plastic can. Cemeteries are full of little red lights. These candles are protected from the weather by can and lid. They are designed to stay burning for several days in a row.

The following day is Allerseelen (All Souls), the Catholic commemoration of the dead (not a public holiday, though). Visiting the graves of one’s defunct dears is common.

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Posted by Kathrin_E 01:12 Archived in Germany Tagged germany events holidays traditions customs

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