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Celebrating the Corpus Christi in Germany: dates, celebration, conventional congratulations, greetings, traditions and customs on the Corpus Christi

On this page you will find a description of the Corpus Christi festivities in Germany. Celebration dates by year, customs and traditions common for Germany on the Corpus Christi, a description of the origin, if known, as well as what congratulations & greetings the Germans use in their country on this holiday and their meaning. Here, you will also find photos of the attributes of the holiday or the celebration itself and other interesting information.

§ Dates for the Corpus Christi celebration in Germany

The date of the Corpus Christi celebration in Germany changes every year.

The Corpus Christi celebration date in Germany:
Thursday 8 June 2023 .

Below is a list of dates for celebrating the Corpus Christi in Germany by year, provided that in previous and subsequent years the present practice and time of the holiday celebration is preserved:

§ Other names of the holiday

Holiday name in German: Fronleichnam.

We are not aware of any other names for the Corpus Christi in Germany.

§ Holiday status in the territory of Germany

The holiday is an official extra non-working day only in the following federated states (lands) of Germany:

(Saxony, Thuringia: only in some regions)

§ Wishes and congratulations, greetings on the Corpus Christi in Germany

No information available.

§ Description of the Corpus Christi celebration: customs and traditions:

The Feast of Corpus Christi (aka the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ) is a Catholic Church holiday falling on the 10th day after Pentecost. On this day, solemn processions go around the populated localities, with the main element of the procession being the Host or Bread, symbolizing the body of Jesus Christ. Thus, the church publicly reminds everyone of the celebration of the Eucharist and the body of Christ, given to atone for people.

The German name of the holiday "Fronleichnam" comes from the Old German language and means "Leib des Herren", i.e. "Corpus Christi, the body of the Lord".

On this day, Catholic parishioners wearing festive attire gather by the church and then, together with the priests, hold a procession. Believers carry crosses, banners, statues, paintings, flowers. Several people carry a baldachin symbolizing the sky. The procession is headed by a priest carrying a box (monstrance) with unleavened bread. The path along which the procession will go is decorated with carpets of flowers. During the procession and in front of the altar, the church parishioners pray for the blessing of people, domestic animals and fields.

In some churches bells are clanged in a special way on this day: bells of different sizes are clanged to produce a melody, at that the bells proper shall not wobble.

Sometimes boats and ships decorated in a particular manner take part in the Corpus Christi Feast procession.

§ The origin of the Corpus Christi holiday

The Feast of Corpus Christi is an ancient church holiday, celebrated in Germany since the 13th century.

The event to which the holiday relates is the Lord's Supper, the last supper of Jesus Christ with his disciples, during which he used unleavened bread and wine as symbols of his body and blood, being given to atone for people's sins (see also Holy or Maundy Thursday of the Holy Week). He commanded his disciples to remember his sacrifice by holding the Supper (that is, a special dinner) and using over it bread and wine as symbols.

In the Catholic Church, however, it is believed that, during the Supper, these symbols of bread and wine are in the very deed miraculously transformed into the body and blood of Christ, which event is called "transubstantiation". The Church assumes that in order for believers to achieve salvation and everlasting life, they should commune. Other Christian religions disagree with this interpretation of the Lord's Supper.

§ Photos, pictures for the holiday

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§ Comments and questions from the Site visitors:

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