Berlin and beyond: Dance with the dead

The first time I became even close to aware of Totensonntag or Sunday of the Deadwas years ago when I went to a flea market to find the square that accommodates its weekly chaos and color, empty. I attributed the absence of vendors with their chipped one-offs to some aberration I was too foreign to understand.

It wasn’t until I’d lived in Germany for a couple more years that I realized the aberration was in fact an annual Protestant event initiated by the Prussian King Frederick William III – out of respect for the dead.

So much respect indeed, that it is one of Germany’s few stille or quiet days, when certain activities are not allowed. Most notably, shopping and dancing. Yep, that’s right, from the early hours of this Sunday morning until well into the evening, there will be a nationwide ban on public displays of hip gyration. To what extent it is enforced though, is up to the relevant local authorities. Read more or listen...

Category: Writing

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