Germans have reason to celebrate Tuesday as the country marks 27 years since East and West Germany were peacefully reunified, forming the Federal Republic of Germany.
Though the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989, the task of joining two countries didn’t go into effect until nearly a year later, with the adoption of the German Reunification Treaty on October 3, 1990.
Still a relatively new observance, Day of German Unity, or Tag der Deutschen Einheit, is catching on with community gatherings in each of Germany’s 16 states. An official celebration and fireworks are held each year in a different city, typically a state capital.
More than 500,000 visitors are expected in this year’s official host city, Mainz. Entertainment, music, and culture from each of Germany’s 16 states will be on display.
“Visitors are invited to go on a journey through Germany in the centre of Mainz and may try all sorts of culinary specialties from every corner of the country,” according to the city’s website.
For most, the national holiday provides a day off from work to spend time with family and friends, but there is currently an effort to grow awareness and national pride.
This year, a social media campaign is taking suggestions for developing customs and traditions for the national holiday.
Some submissions to the contest include: the entire country turning off lights for one minute, planting 83 million trees each year on the holiday, and wearing clothing featuring the national colors of black, red, and gold.
Winning submissions receive a trip to this year’s celebration and prizes worth 10,000 Euros.
Those ideas will help form future customs, such as greetings, songs, and special activities are connected to the holiday, according to the state government of Rhineland-Palatinate.
Lane Luckie, a news anchor and reporter for KLTV in Tyler, Texas, is traveling in Germany and Belgium as part of a fellowship with the RIAS Berlin Commission. The bi-national journalist exchange, which is a partnership with the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, was established in 1992 to promote understanding between the United States and Germany in the field of broadcasting. Click here to learn more.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2017 Lane Luckie