Even in secular Europe, some states in Germany have a ban on loud music and dancing over Easter Weekend. It’s part of a centuries-old religious tradition known as Tanzverbot:
From Thursday through Sunday, it is illegal to dance in public in 13 of the 16 states in Germany from the days between Thursday, known in the Christian religion as Maundy Thursday, through Sunday, Easter Day. In some states, the ban extends to the Monday after Easter.
The holiday laws, known as Tanzverbot, have varying degrees of restrictions and enforcement in each state. Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria anti-dancing laws are known to be the most restrictive with dancing completely outlawed during the entire weekend. In Berlin, the country’s party capital, dancing is illegal on Good Friday from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.
You would hope that ban is lifted as the nation becomes less religious — and because, you know, common sense — but churches are objecting, presumably because they want to hold on to whatever power they have left:
Even if the rule were loosened, churches, which would be consulted about the rule change, have insisted that Good Friday must remain holy.
“As far as the Catholic church is concerned, Good Friday is not open to debate,” a spokesman for the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese told the Stuttgarter Zeitung.
Bavaria has already announced that it would not be changing its rule, and there has also been resistance to compromise in Hesse. “Good Friday is a Christian holiday dedicated to remembering the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus. That does not go together with loud, boisterous celebration,” Uwe Becker, of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, told the Frankfurter Rundschau.
We can laugh all we want in the United States, but we have Blue laws of our own that have no business in a country with separation of church and state.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Scott for the link)