Singing and dancing verboten

Closed live music club in Berlin

Closed music club in Berlin. Credit: Rolf Nemitz, creative commons, Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

Singing and dancing are traditionally banned on Good Friday in Germany

Some regions of Germany can be very strict about conforming to the rules on Good Friday.

Traditionally, this has been a day of reflection and mourning, so there is none of the noise and excess of the pre-lent carnival period.

Fines of up to €10,000 euros

In Bavaria, for example, sporting events and musical performances of any kind are prohibited in rooms with a bar. There is also a ban on dancing in the region from Maundy Thursday to Holy Saturday. Transgressors can face fines of up to €10,000.

The ban on dancing not only applies to clubs but to restaurants and all manner of outdoor and sporting events. Theatres must also keep stumm.

Weimar Republic

There are even restrictions on showing certain kinds of films at cinemas. However, the regulations date back to the Weimar Republic, which was between end of the Imperial period (1918) and the beginning of Nazi Germany (1933). The strict rules have not been updated since, so there is no mention of streaming services. As such, these do not fall under the ban.

Exceptions can be made by filling in the appropriate paperwork to be permitted to show a film on the “silent day” without incurring a fine. In practice, this means there are no films on the forbidden list this year.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, no public outdoor events whatsoever are permitted on Good Friday, including parades.

The rules are a little more relaxed in Berlin, where the ban on dancing only applies from 4 am to 9 pm on Good Friday, which does not particularly affect the clubbing scene.

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Annie christmas in the Bay of Palma
Written by

Annette Christmas

Annie Christmas loves language and communication. A long-time resident of Mallorca, she enjoys an outdoor life of cycling, horse riding and mountain walking, as well as the wealth of concerts and cultural events on the island. She also plays fiddle in a traditional Mallorcan dance troupe.