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Sunday of the Dead in Germany

The Sunday of the Dead (Totensonntag) is a religious holiday in the German Evangelical Church dedicated to the memory of those who have passed away. Like the National Day of Mourning, it is a “silent day” - this means that in some regions of Germany music or dance events are prohibited.

Is Sunday of the Dead a Public Holiday?

Sunday of the Dead is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, November 24, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in Germany.

Remembering a loved one who has passed away.

©iStockphoto.com/ImagineGolf

What Do People Do?

Many Germans visit the graves of loves ones who have passed away. Services are held in many Lutheran churches.

Public Life

The Totensonntag is a so-called “silent day” (stiller Tag). In some German states music or dance events are prohibited by law. Like on any other Sunday, offices, banks and schools are closed. Public transport usually runs on a normal Sunday schedule.

Background

The Sunday of the Dead was initiated in 1816 by Frederick William III of Prussia.

Sunday of the Dead Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunNov 22Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2016SunNov 20Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2017SunNov 26Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2018SunNov 25Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2019SunNov 24Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2020SunNov 22Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2021SunNov 21Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2022SunNov 20Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2023SunNov 26Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2024SunNov 24Sunday of the DeadSilent Day
2025SunNov 23Sunday of the DeadSilent Day

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