Skip to content

Observing “silent holidays” in Germany: Prohibited activities and traditions

Holidays in Germany. Silent holiday in Germany. Germany is gearing up for a period of “silent holidays” (Stillen Feiertagen), during which days are dedicated to the observance of religious sentiments and the solemn commemoration of specific events. While every country has its distinct traditions and regulations, these holidays hold a unique significance in German culture.

They provide an opportunity to pause amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life and contemplate the profound values of the community. Here are some activities that are typically avoided during these days in Germany.
Read also: Learn these Easter greetings in German with English translations

More “silent holidays” are approaching in Germany

Some holidays in Germany are classified as “Stillen Feiertagen” and are subject to specific regulations. There are several such holidays in March 2024. During these days, activities such as dancing and public entertainment events that do not align with the solemnity of the occasion are prohibited. The designation of these holidays is determined by the regulations of each individual federal state. In most German states, there are multiple “silent holidays” beginning from Maundy Thursday, which falls on March 28 this year, and continuing until Easter Sunday on March 31.

During the days of silence, it is prohibited to organize any noise-generating activities near churches and other premises used for religious services or similar purposes, as such activities may disrupt the solemnity of religious services. Additionally, public entertainment events are banned during these days. However, sporting, artistic, scientific, or educational events that typically occur during this time are allowed, as long as they do not interfere with religious observances.

These are the “silent holidays” in Germany

In Germany, each federal state determines its own list of “Stillen Feiertagen” or silent days. These silent days typically include Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, November 1st (All Saints’ Day), Volkstrauertag (National Day of Remembrance), Day of Prayer and Penance, and Christmas Eve. During the Easter period, in most states, the prohibition on organizing entertainment events extends from Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday.
Read also: 7 facts about Urlaubsgeld, the holiday allowance in Germany

These movies are banned in Germany these days

During the days of silence in Germany, the screening of films in cinemas is prohibited. The German institution responsible for film classification (FSK) has compiled a list of banned films, which includes up to 756 titles. This ban encompasses comedies such as “L’homme orchestre” with Louis de Funès, “Vier Fäuste für ein Halleluja” with Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, or “Police Academy.” Action movies like “Mad Max” and the satirical film “Life of Brian” are also included in the ban. Additionally, films such as “Terminator,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” or “Ghostbusters” cannot be broadcast during these silent days, according to