German Unity Day is celebrated on October 3rd, and is a very special day for German citizens as well as Europe as a whole. On October 3, 1990, the German Democratic Republic was done away with, and the Federal Republic of Germany united both East and West. There are many reasons to celebrate this special day, and the following 5 reasons to celebrate German Unity Day are just the tip of the iceberg.

1. A Celebration of Uniting Efforts

Each year, German Unity prizes are awarded, recognizing those who contribute greatly to bring together the “east and west.” This is a fantastic celebration of modern thinkers who are working to create a greater Germany. A few past winners include civil rights activist and author Freya Klier and European Academy in Otzenhausen head Arno Krause for their education efforts and unification efforts. These prizes encourage others to work together to create a more unified Germany.

2. A Learning Opportunity

There’s no better time to learn about Germany’s history than during a celebration of this sort. In 2010, the German government organized an informational tour that visited 50 different cities and then arrived in Bremen for October 3rd. For individuals who don’t know much about Germany’s history, the falling of the wall, and the former east and west areas of Germany, German Unity Day is the perfect opportunity to learn. Parents can use this holiday as an opportunity to teach children about the history of Germany as well.

3. A Great Opportunity to Visit

For individuals who have wanted to visit Germany or those with roots in Germany, German Unity Day is a wonderful time to visit. The streets are filled with celebrations, parades, and festivals and many hotels offer discounted rates just in time for the celebration. For this reason, many people with German roots or family in Germany visit during October 3rd to reconnect and remember the reason for the holiday in the first place.

4. The Food

Few things are as delicious as a great German meal. One of the most popular is called Currywurst. The concept is simple; sausage covered with ketchup featuring curry, Hungarian paprika and tomato sauce. During Unity Day, many diners lower prices and feature this delicious dish as an option for those celebrating.

5. An Example for Other Countries

German Unity Day is a wonderful example to other countries who should considering uniting rather than remaining divided. As citizens and visitors listen to speeches from local politicians and leaders, enjoy delicious food, take the day off work and celebrate, it serves as a call for other places to unite. In fact, many other countries have some form of unity day celebration that signifies their own struggles or celebrates the unification of their country. Participating is a great way to send a message.

Unity Day is a great holiday to embrace, whether you’re a German citizen or live in another country. The symbolic meaning of the holiday as well as the literal meaning are positive and promote positive feelings toward each other, the government and the country.