Day of German Unity
Tag der Deutschen Einheit

The third of October, which will be a Tuesday this year, is a very emotional day for every German because it brings them back to the years 1989/90 and how Germany was reunited again after 40 years of living in two separate countries. After the second World War, Germany was divided into four military sectors , which were controlled each by the United Kingdom, The Soviet Union, France and the United States. In 1949 the free western sectors united and the Federal Republic of Germany was founded. In the same year the eastern sector was transformed in the German Democratic […]

The SemperOperaball
– the most beautiful night of the year

In the end of January or the beginning of February every year, the Semper Opera turns into the setting of one of the most prestigious and important European ballroom events. To hold a ball in the Dresden opera house has a long tradition. Already from 1925 until 1939, the Semper Opera was host of such glorious events, even though back then, you could also hear Jazz being played – along with the traditional classic music and Waltz. After the war, there had been plans to re-establish the ball, however the huge demolitions and the government made the undertaking impossible. Since […]

What’s a “Herrnhuter Stern”?

If you already had the chance to stroll through Dresden’s well known „Striezelmarkt“, you might have noticed the beautiful stars hanging from Christmas trees or sales stands. With their many points enlightened in the dark, they literally look like a sparkling star in the sky. You may have also noticed – if you visited the Welcome Center recently – that there’s such a star above our entrance now. Those specifically formed artworks have a long tradition in Germany and especially in Saxony, as they have their origin in the Saxon city of Nisky. They were first made in a boy’s […]

Non-working Buß und Bettag, but only in Saxony!

Public holidays in Germany are not determined at a national level. Each of the 16 federal states is in charge of making its own decisions when it comes to allowing workers to stay home. In contrast to all of the other 15 states in Germany, here in Saxony you are officially not going to work on the Wednesday, November 16th, and here is why you don’t have to get up early: The German Buß- und Bettag stands for the day of repentance and prayer and has its origins in the very human nature of searching for divine intervention during times […]

„Let’s have coffee“

Even if you’ve just come to Germany, you’ve probably already realized we’re a country that loves coffee. The stereotype says, that all Germans love to drink beer – and while that’s partly true – we love coffee even more. There won’t be a day when you don’t see someone taking a sip from a takeaway cup of coffee in the streets and no lunch break is complete without a coffee afterwards. The tradition of drinking coffee in Germany begins in the 17th century. The first coffee houses opened in Bremen and Hamburg – the big seaports where the coffee arrived. […]

The Grand Garden – Dresden’s green lung

Dresden is a beautiful place to be but in some ways it’s also just like any other city – loud and hectic. To escape all of that, you don’t have to leave the city’s borders: Within walking distance to the city center you can find the Grand Garden with beautiful flowerbeds and picturesque alleyways through extensive meadows and forests. It’s the perfect location to relax – and more than just that. The Grand Garden isn’t just a simple public park. It stands in Dresden’s centuries-old tradition of landscaping and gardening and is one of the most important garden estates in […]

Ascension Day, Father’s Day or Gentlemen’s Day?

German traditions can be quite confusing – especially when there’s more than one holiday on a single day! This is why we’d like to explain why groups of males do hiking tours on Ascension Day. Ascension Day is the Thursday forty days after Easter and it’s traditionally a Christian Holiday which commemorates the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven. That’s the religious background and as it’s a federal holiday in Germany lots of employees use a “Brückentag” (bridging day) to extend their weekend. Even some schools are closed on the Friday following Ascension Day. To find out why groups of […]

Goodbye April – Hello May!

April is traditionally the month where the weather is most unpredictable, whereas the “merry month of May” is known for good weather with lots of sunshine to enjoy. There are several traditions in Germany to say goodbye to the colder seasons and to “help” make summer come quicker. We’d like to introduce you to some of them and who knows – maybe together we can chase away the cold! Walpurgis Night Walpurgis Night or Witches’ Night (in German “Walpurgisnacht” or “Hexennacht”) is celebrated in the night from 30 April to 1 May. The folkloric belief is that in this night […]

Come together – at the Elbhangfest

The hillside along the river Elbe is famous for its beauty and every year there’s a street festival to celebrate this special cultural landscape – the Elbhangfest. The tradition of the Elbhangfest began in 1990 as a charity event for the church in the vineyard of Pillnitz and the restauration of the church in Loschwitz. However, the first grand festivities took place about 300 years ago: August the Strong then ordered his master builder Pöppelmann to expand the manor of Pillnitz and create a castle complex that would suit August’s lavish celebrations. Now, on the last weekend in June, the […]

August II the Strong

You’ve probably already “met” him: Everyone knows the Golden Horseman near the Augustus Bridge depicting August II on horseback. He is certainly one of the most famous Saxons and the shiny representation of his person reflects his ambitions for Dresden. He wanted it to be the cultural center and most beautiful city of all of Saxony – and beyond. August II was called “the Strong” because of his great physical strength and numerous offspring. It has been reported that he was able to break horseshoes with his bare hands. We can’t be sure that this was true – monarchs are […]