Tag der Deutschen Einheit is often translated into German Reunification Day, which is not exactly right. Einheit literally means one-ness: a day to celebrate the Unity of the Germans.
It’s easy to assume that Tag der Deutschen Einheit is celebrated on the day the Berlin Wall fell. Not so. Although it would be a logical day on which to celebrate, November 10th also coincides with Kristallnacht, or The Night of Broken Glass, which was the first large-scale raid held against Jews in Nazi Germany and Australia at the beginning of WWII. Thus, authorities chose October 3rd for their occasion. It was on this day in 1990 that the German Democratic Republic was dissolved, and the citizens of East Germany officially became citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Each year, one of the capitols of a German state host a huge celebration. Lucky for me, 2012 is Munich’s year. A huge portion of the city center is blocked off and dedicated to concerts, tents, parades, and carnival foods. Quite unlike many other such holidays around the world, you won’t see any military parades or fireworks. Just…a lot of lederhosen and dirndls.
The crowds were so thick (especially with all of the tourists in for Oktoberfest), and the sun felt uncomfortably close. Nathan wore a newspaper hat, which made him easier to spot in the crowds. My ears hurt, too. 😦