The Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day) is celebrated annually on the 3rd of October and marks the anniversary of the country’s reunification.
In 1949, following WWII, the German sector controlled by France, the UK and USA became the Federal Republic of Germany and the sector controlled by the Soviet Union became the German Democratic Republic (commonly known as the DDR). Throughout the next few years these two areas developed very different economic and political systems. Fast forward 40 years and Germans began, generally peacefully, protesting against the DDR government. Protesters called for political reform and for the borders between the Federal Republic of Germany and the DDR to be opened again. On the 9th of November 1989 the checkpoints opened, officially marking the fall of the Berlin wall. The fall of the wall led to major political changes and on October 3rd 1990 Germany’s reunification became official.
How do people spend their German Unity Day? Do they head to the beach and have BBQs like Australians do on Australia Day? Well, not quite…
German Unity Day is a national holiday in Germany and most people either celebrate with friends and family or at public events. These events often include speeches from politicians and other leaders, concerts, communal meals and, of course, fireworks! On this day it is also typical to see German flags raised, particularly on public buildings. The German flag is made up of three equal sections: black, representing the darkness of servitude, red, representing bloody conflict, and gold, representing the light of freedom.
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