National Day Of Mourning in Germany

In Germany, the second Sunday before Advent is known as Volkstrauertag, or the National Day of Mourning in English. This holiday commemorates everyone who has served in the armed forces of all nations, as well as all of the civilians who have died during armed conflicts and oppression.

It is a holiday that was first observed in its modern form during the 1950s but actually comes from a much older Prussian tradition. Although it is a public holiday in Germany, it is also categorized as Stiller Tag or a Day of Silence. That means that there may be restrictions on concerts, dances, and other such activities.

The History of the National Day of Mourning in Germany

The National Day of Mourning is a holiday that has its roots in the Protestant traditions of Prussia during the 18th and 19th centuries. The modern holiday, however, is often attributed to 1922 when it was created to recognize the victims of World War I.

During the Second World War, the Nazis would adopt the holiday to glorify war and to celebrate their fallen military heroes. That is why after WWII, the holiday was moved to the second Sunday of the church year. This was done to distance the holiday from the Nazis and to move it back into line with its original intention. Nowadays, it is a holiday that not only shows respect for and mourns

Observing National Day of Mourning in Germany

This holiday usually begins with a commemoration ceremony that is held in the German Parliament. It is there where the President of Germany usually gives a speech and the Parliament sings “Der Gute Kamerad,” also known as the soldier’s song. There are also special ceremonies given at memorial sites all across the country that are dedicated to the victims of the Nazis.

Where is it celebrated?
Germany (Silent day)
When is it?
This year (2024)
November 17 Sunday
Next year (2025)
November 16 Sunday
Last year (2023)
November 19 Sunday