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Is it really illegal to dance at Easter in Germany? - The Local
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Universal Crossword. Daily Word Search. Mah Jong Quest. Laws prohibiting dancing on certain Christian holidays are to be relaxed.
A Strange Case of Dancing Mania Struck Germany Six Centuries Ago Today
Instead of criminalizing dance club gyrations as of midnight on the eve of religious celebrations, the state said party-goers will now be allowed to boogie until 2 a. Of course, many might be left wondering why Bavaria doesn't just ditch the dance rules entirely. But far from being forgotten relicts of centuries past, dance bans reflect the state's deep ties to tradition and, though weakening, the Catholic Church.
Indeed, Munich Archbishop Reinhard Marx expressed his dissent on Wednesday, saying that easing laws protecting the sanctity of religious holidays is unacceptable. There are currently nine days on the Bavarian calendar when dancing is outlawed, including the four days directly preceding Easter. Every other state in the country, including the famously debaucherous city-state of Berlin, has dance bans on their books too.
If this seems surprising, which for many Europeans it is, then it might be more shocking to learn that the majority of states in Germany have a dancing ban on Good Friday out of respect for the religious holiday. The law dictates that on Good Friday — the beginning of the four-day Easter weekend — it becomes illegal to dance in public for the entire day in 12 out of the 16 German states.
The other four states only have a partial ban.
In these two states, the ban runs from Maundy Thursday and ends at the start of Easter Saturday. A violation of the law carries a fine of up to euros. While in Bavaria, where things are even stricter, any kind of music playing in bars is forbidden and the fine for disobeying goes up to 10, euros. But in Berlin, laws are loosened a bit.