Sunday Of The Dead

Sunday Of The Dead is a Protestant religious holiday that’s observed in Germany and Switzerland. Also known as Totensonntag, this holiday commemorates the faithfully departed and falls on the last Sunday before the First Sundays of Advent and is the last Sunday of the liturgical year in the German Evangelical Church. This is a holiday that grew out of the liturgical calendar of the Middle Ages and was ordered as a general decree by King Frederick William III of Prussia in 1816. Because this day is considered a “day of silence” some regions in Germany prohibit dance or music events on this holiday.

The History Of Sunday Of The Dead

This holiday was proclaimed by King Frederick William III of Prussia in 1816. Under his decree, all Lutheran churches under Prussian rule had to observe the final Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent as a memorial and celebration of the departed. This act was followed by other Lutheran churches in Germany as well. This holiday also began to be observed in the United States as well, although it’s most commonly referred to as Totenfest and not Sunday of the Dead.

Observing Sunday Of The Dead

People in Germany and Switzerland typically observe this holiday by visiting the graves of departed loved ones. In many Protestant and Lutheran churches, there are also ceremonies held on this day to honor the dead. Since this holiday falls on a Sunday, schools, banks, and many businesses are held on this day. The hashtag #SundayOfTheDead can be used on social media on this day.

Where is it celebrated?
Germany (Silent day)
When is it?
This year (2023)
November 26 Sunday
Next year (2024)
November 24 Sunday
Last year (2022)
November 20 Sunday