In the German calendar, one day each year is more important than all the others combined, and it is imbued with the essence of freedom.
In Germany, and particularly in Berlin, the 3rd of October 1990 is a date that will always be remembered. These days it is known as the ‘Day of German Unity’. It has become a national public holiday with millions of Germans celebrating in the streets. Each year there is a euphoric atmosphere where people come together and commemorate the day with public speeches, concerts, communal meals, culture presentations and fireworks. In every aspect the Day of German Unity is a celebration of national identity done in the best way the Germans know how.
The atmosphere of the celebrations is festive, welcoming and safe. Each year a different city hosts the main street party, but smaller versions still take place all over Germany. To show that this day is all about opening up communities to new people and sharing cultures, many mosques in Germany are open to the general public on the 3rd of October. This is an initiative to encourage contact between Muslims and other parts of the community and to emphasize the role that Muslims played in forming modern Germany.
The Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall were two important symbols of Germany’s division during the Cold War but today they are used as signs of the freedom that opened up for them after the unification in 1990. Images of the Brandenburg Gate and the destruction of the Berlin Wall are often displayed during the 3rd October celebrations. The German Unification Treaty also symbolizes the day and the key messages.
Germany’s flag is displayed, particularly on public buildings, on German Unity Day. This flag is three units high and five units wide and is divided horizontally into thirds. The top third is jet black, the middle third traffic light red and the bottom third is gold. Together these colours represent the freedom of Germany as a whole and the patriotism within each of its people.
In light of this, the holiday formed a big part of our inspirational search for the new collection because in many ways it is the essence of the feeling of freedom the united Germany brought to their citizens, and the new opportunities that opened up post-reunification.