Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pfingstenwochenende (Pentecost Weekend)

This Sunday is Pfingsten (Pentecost). Pfingsten commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the remaining eleven Apostles (Judas committed suicide) and the other followers of Christ. It is celebrated 50 days (seven weeks) after Easter. Pfingstmontag (Pentecost Monday) is a national holiday in Germany; and, like Himmelfahrt, another religious/national holiday, most things will be closed, including stores and places of employment. 

In Southern Germany, Pfingsten is traditionally celebrated by decorating prized cattle and leading them through the streets. In Eastern Bavaria there are parades with horses and bands, and in lower Saxony wreaths are placed on birch trees.


Pfingstrose (Peony)
In Berlin, a decidedly nonreligious region, most people relax, drink, or attend the annual Karneval der Kulturen. BTW: Peonies are known as Pfingstrosen in Germany and are now available at florist shops and markets. 

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