A long weekend of anniversaries and celebrations

Double-flagged tram for Czechoslovak Independence Day © Ricky Yates

Friday 28th October 2016 – was a public holiday here in the Czech Republic, celebrating the ninety-eighth anniversary of the declaration of independence of a country that no longer exists 🙂 In the dying days of World War One, the new nation of Czechoslovakia was declared independent of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on 28th October 1918, by Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, who then served as President of the ‘First Republic’, until 1935.

Although the state of Czechoslovakia ceased to exist on 1st January 1993, following the ‘Velvet Divorce’, the public holiday remains! Interestingly, it is no longer kept as a public holiday in Slovakia. Instead, they have double celebrations on 1st January each year, both to mark the New Year and to celebrate the establishment of the separate Slovak state, on . . . → Read More: A long weekend of anniversaries and celebrations

Reformation Day – 31st October

The Stadtkirche St Marien from the town square in Wittenberg © Ricky Yates

Today is Reformation Day / Reformationstag, marking the occasion on 31st October 1517, when Martin Luther sent a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeberg, protesting about the sale of indulgences and enclosing a document setting out his disputation with Roman Catholic teaching and practice of that time, which has become known as ‘The 95 Theses’. According to tradition – though now disputed by some scholars, he also pinned these ’95 Theses’ to the door of the Schlosskirche /Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Today is a public holiday in several of the German Länder / States, celebrating this event which is seen as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Many Churches of the Lutheran tradition hold special services though sometimes these are transferred back to the previous Sunday, known as ‘Reformation Sunday’. . . . → Read More: Reformation Day – 31st October