Did you know Augsburg is the only German city to have its own public holiday? That’s right, the Peace Festival is a public holiday only within the city limits of Augsburg. Celebrated on August 8 every year, the festival celebrates the occasion when Protestants in the city were given the right to practice their faith. Given the kind of polarized environments we are living in today, the Peace Festival in Augsburg holds more significance than ever before.
Peace Festival in Augsburg - History
The first Augsburg Peace Prize awarded
Since 1985, the prize is awarded every three years to people who have done exceptional work in promoting religious harmony around the world.
The First Augsburg Peace Festival held
The first Augsburg Peace Festival is observed on August 8, 1650, marking the end of religious turmoil in the region.
The Peace of Westphalia Treaty signed
The treaty reinstated the Augsburg Declaration of Religious Freedom, which allowed Protestants to practice their faith.
Protestants agitate for religious independence
On August 8, 1629, Protestants start agitating against the Catholic Church for banning their religious freedom.
How to Observe Peace Festival in Augsburg
Donate to a charity
Make the world a better place. Use the occasion to donate to a charity. Pick a cause that's closest to your heart and donate whatever you can. If you can't donate monetarily, you can always sign up for an organ donation.
Start an anti-bullying campaign
Children are the future of the world and it's important they have a peaceful upbringing. Organize an anti-bullying campaign in your school district. Encourage kids to report bullying when they see or experience it.
Mend your relationship
Use the opportunity to reach out to someone whom you haven't talked to in a while. It could be your parents, your childhood friend, or maybe, even someone at work. Having that difficult conversation is important to mend any broken relationships.
3 Head-scratching Facts About Augsburg
Fuggerei hasn't raised its rent since 1520
You can live for as low as 88 cents per year in this small housing complex, provided that you are Roman Catholic.
The builder of the Vogeltor pooped out of its window
According to a popular legend, the builder of the tower pooped out of one of its windows to prove to councilman that the tower was straight.
There's a museum dedicated to asparagus here
The European Asparagus Museum is a three-story building that has several exhibits dedicated to the royal vegetable.
Why Peace Festival in Augsburg is Important
It celebrates religious freedom
The day celebrates the reinstatement of the Augsburg Declaration of Religious Freedom, which granted the people of Augsburg the right to practice any faith. The world can always do with more days promoting tolerance.
There's a peace prize for the taking
Every three years, the Augsburg Peace Prize is awarded to individuals who stand out for their efforts in interfaith dialogue. The prize has been awarded since 1985. Mikhail Gorbachev is a former winner.
There's a special church service on the day, which signifies modern Christianity's tolerance towards other faiths. Both Catholic and Lutheran churches in the area participate. Such religious harmony in the region was inconceivable about a century or two ago.