2017 is a huge year for Germans: they get an extra national holiday, Reformationstag. It's the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses to the church door, which turned out to be a pillar event of the Reformation movement.
An extra national holiday means that everybody gets an extra day off work. Everything's going to be closed, however I suspect a lot of churches might have more visitors than usual.
So how does this make a 5-day weekend for Germans? Here's how:
Saturday and Sunday are normal weekend days. Tuesday is Reformationstag and also Halloween, which means that Wednesday, November 1st is Allerheiligen (All Saints' Day), which is also a holiday in 5 German states (Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland). Anyone who planned a vacation day for Monday, October 30th is taking a Brückentag, a bridge day, "bridging" the weekend to the Feiertag. So with one day of vacation a lot of folks extended their 2-day weekend to make it a 5-day weekend.
What are they going to do with all that time on their hands?!
Well, they are German and have hobbies, so I suspect they'll find something to do. What about you? What you will do this weekend? I have an idea!
Take some time absorbing some of that Reformationstag culture. Get into some German culture, even if it's from your sofa in a land far, far away from Deutschland.
Watch Rick Steves' Luther and the Reformation Special!
Rick Steves, traveler, educator and PBS Presenter (not to mention generous donor) made a one-hour special on Martin Luther and the Reformation. I watched it last weekend and it is very well done. Not only does Rick Steves give you a timeline and point out the major events of this part of social-economical-religious history, but he shows you places, portraits of people, and a new perspective on it all.
If you can't get to Germany for the Reformationstag this year, bring it to you.
Watch the video here, check your local PBS listings, or get the PBS app on your Roku TV.
And when you're done with the video, click here to find out what we've inherited from Martin Luther besides the entire Reformation, as well as what is going on in Germany regarding the Reformation this year.
P.S. Europe switches back from Daylight Savings Time this weekend, too, so that 5-day weekend is even longer. They've got it so good...