Today is a public holiday in Germany (I do think it should also be a public holiday for Germans abroad, but somehow I doubt it will happen ☺), because it’s the German Unity Day, or Tag der deutschen Einheit.
When I grew up in Germany, that day was celebrated on the 17th June because of the uprising of 1953 in East Germany. Then, when the Berlin Wall came down, that date was changed to the 3rd October.
“Hold on!” I can hear anybody shout, who knows a bit about historic dates: “The wall came down on the 9th November 1989! Shouldn’t that be the new date?”
Yes, technically that should be the new date. Unfortunately it was the date when Hitler started his mass campaign against the Jews (Kristallnacht 9th November 1938), so after a lot of discussions the agreement came to the 3rd October.
I’ve just read that this year’s celebration has the theme “Zusammen Einzigartig” – together unique!
I quite like that, don’t you?
Update 2015: This year Germany celebrates 25 years of unity. Thinking about all the refugees who have arrived in Germany recently, I find the 2013 theme of ‘together unique’ still very appropriate. Congratulations Germany!
Update 2018: This year’s motto is Nur mit Euch – Only with You
Update 2019: This year’s motto is Mut verbindet – Courage unites