Reformation Day in Germany
Reformation Day is a public holiday in five states in Germany on October 31 each year to remember the religious Reformation in Europe. It commemorates when German monk and theologian Martin Luther’s proposals were nailed on the doors of a church in 1517. This event was the start of religious and social changes in Europe.
What Do People Do?
Many members of the Lutheran and some Reformed Churches, attend special church services to mark the anniversary of Martin Luther's proclamation. Other people have a day off work to spend time with family or friends.
Many people use the day to shop or visit attractions in countries, such as Austria, Poland or Switzerland, as these countries are close to the German states. They also celebrate Reformation Day as a public holiday.
Reformation Day is a public holiday in a number of German states including: Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, and Bremen. In these states, post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed.
Stores in some tourist areas may be open and stores at railway stations, airports and along highways are usually open. Public transport schedules vary depending on where one lives or wants to travel. This event is not a public holiday in the rest of Germany.
Martin Luther was a monk, theologian and religious reformer. Many people also see him as the “Father of Protestantism”. During his life, he became disenchanted with the power that the Catholic Church had over people’s lives. He was particularly concerned about the sale of indulgences.
Indulgences are documents issued by the Catholic Church to grant full or partial pardon of sins. They are usually issued after prayer and good works. However, indulgences were also sold to finance projects sponsored by the Catholic Church around the 1500s. To express his concerns, Martin Luther nailed written works, known as The 95 Theses, on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517. In doing this, he started the Reformation.
The Reformation period started in Europe, particularly in Germany, in 1517 CE and ended around 1648 CE. It was a time of large religious and social changes. The Catholic Church’s power and its role in mediating between the word of God and the general population were attached and many new Christian movements evolved.
Reformation Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Sun||Oct 31||2010||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Mon||Oct 31||2011||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Wed||Oct 31||2012||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Thu||Oct 31||2013||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Fri||Oct 31||2014||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Sat||Oct 31||2015||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Mon||Oct 31||2016||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, MVP, SN, ST, TH|
|Tue||Oct 31||2017||Reformation Day||National holiday|
|Wed||Oct 31||2018||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, HB, HH, MVP, NDS, SH, SN, ST, TH|
|Thu||Oct 31||2019||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, HB, HH, MVP, NDS, SH, SN, ST, TH|
|Sat||Oct 31||2020||Reformation Day||Common Local Holidays||BB, HB, HH, MVP, NDS, SH, SN, ST, TH|
Quick FactsReformation Day in Germany is annually observed on October 31 to remember the Reformation, a time of big religious change between 1517 CE and 1648 CE.
Reformation Day 2018Wednesday, October 31, 2018 (Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia)
Reformation Day 2019Thursday, October 31, 2019 (Brandenburg, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia)
Name in other languages
Other holidays in October 2018 in Germany
- Day of German Unity – Wednesday, October 3, 2018
- Space Exploration Day – Sunday, October 7, 2018
- Day of the Libraries – Wednesday, October 24, 2018
- World Thrift Day – Tuesday, October 30, 2018
- Halloween – Wednesday, October 31, 2018