Reformation Day

Martin Luther statue in Hamburg, Germany

Reformation Day

500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses onto the All Saints' Church in Wittenberg. In 2017, October 31st is an official public holiday in Hamburg.

Reformation Day 2017 in Hamburg

Reformation Day (31 October) is a Protestant holiday celebrating the onset of the Reformation. It is said that on this day in 1517, German monk Martin Luther nailed his famous Ninety-Five Theses to the door of the All Saints' Church in the town of Wittenberg ─ thereby instigating the spread of Protestantism in opposition to Roman-Catholicism.

The holiday is celebrated by Protestant communities including the Evangelical-Lutheran church: the largest religious community in Hamburg. To mark the 500th anniversary of Luther's theses, the City of Hamburg announced Tuesday 31 October 2017 as an official public holiday. Schools, shops, banks and offices remained closed, leaving most employees free to enjoy a day off work ─ and children a day off school. As of 2018, the Hamburg government is debating whether to make Reformation Day a public holiday in the future as well.

Celebration and activities

Those who'd like to religiously observe Reformation Day can join celebratory services at the various Protestant churches around Hamburg. Not the religious type? Spend the extra day off by exploring Hamburg's green outdoors, the zoo or one of the city's many museums ─ or by dressing up as somebody's nightmare for a Halloween party.

Reformation Day