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Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag)

Candles

The Day of Mourning is a day to remember victims of war and spread peace. It takes place two Sundays prior to Advent. It was first observed after World War 1 to honor the victims of that war. During the Nazi rule of Germany that followed World War 1, the holiday was used by the government to glorify war, but after the Second World War it returned to its original purpose of fostering peace and mourning the dead. It falls between the Catholic celebration of All Souls’ Day and the Protestant celebration of Totensonntag, both holidays intended to mourn the dead and contemplate mortality.