July 4th is right around the corner, put on your cowboy boots, load your fireworks stash and make sure you have enough charcoal for the barbecue grill. As all U.S. folks know, Independence Day is kind of a big deal. But what is it like celebrating July 4th in Germany or German National Day?
1.Germany doesn’t even have an Independence Day
So, just getting this out there for those still living in their own little universe. Surprise, surprise… Germany was never an English colony nor have they become “independent”. The Germans have a Day of German Unity, celebrating the unification of eastern and western Germany in 1990. Meaning the Germans are celebrating their unification only for the 26th time on October 3rd, in 2016. So wait, I am older than the German unification?! Quite bizarre. Fun fact: America is turning 240 years old
2.Germans don’t celebrate their unification
For those who have the opportunity to celebrate the American Independence Day, you may be surprised that the Americans actually celebrate their independence. Americans spend their savings on amounts of fireworks, American apparel and of course on beer… I’ll take a Bud light, Busch or Spotted Cow please! (Yes that is a beer from Wisco!) Go out on the town, go to firework shows, visit rodeos and hang by the campfire with good friends. Not in Germany. Although the Germans are known for their partying talent, you will find the average German in melancholy-mode, with their family on the dinner table… Are you serious? Yes, I am serious; this is the German Day of Unity. And don’t even think about mowing the lawn on Oct. 3rd. More about mowing lawns in Germany
3.July 4th is not a National Holiday – no vacation
I guess this is a no-brainer for most of us. Other than the American consulates, American Army bases and other American institutions; everything German has a normal business day on July 4th. And if you do decide to roam the streets in your USA socks and an American flag pinned on your back end, people are going to be staring at you… But will most likely greet you with a smile as long as you aren’t wearing a hat stating “Making Germany American again”. Fun fact: Trumps simplistic presidential campaign hat costs a whopping $25 – 30… could be a new business idea for sure.
4.Germans don’t do fireworks- You will be fined
Mr. Firework and Mrs. Germany were actually never married, they didn’t have any children and they never had an affair… well I guess they get together every New Year’s, and only on New Year’s. Shooting off fireworks in Germany will be reprimanded. It doesn’t matter if you are on private property or the City Mayor. Not on July 4th, nor on October 3rd… only on New Year’s. And you won’t even find decent fireworks to buy in any German store in any other time of the year. Fact: Each and every American spent $2.50 on fireworks for the 4th of July in 2016.
So my fellow Americans: if you are visiting Germany on the 4th, there is something you can do: find an American consulate; in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, etc. And you may just run into everything you ever wanted…. Except for fireworks and American beer.