Thursday is Assumption Day, when the Catholic Church celebrates the ascent of Mary to heaven. In most of Bavaria, some areas of the Palatinate region and Swabia, it is a public holiday, everything is closed and hardly anyone works.
But this week will be the last Mariä Himmelfahrt holiday for Speichersdorf in the Bayreuth region, Baiersdorf near Erlangen and Memmingerberg in the Unterallergäu region. August 15th 2014 will be a normal working day for them.
“It was to be expected that the holiday would fall by the wayside for us,” Speichersdorf mayor Manfred Porsch told Die Welt newspaper.
He said many people had moved to the area from the former Soviet Union and most of them were Protestants. The Catholics in the area were sad about the loss of the holiday, he said. “But those are the rules in Bavaria,” he added.
Information from the recent census has been used to figure out what the majority religion is in each area. Those with a majority get their holidays.
Seven other areas will get an additional holiday next year as the Catholics have tipped the scales over the Protestants and are now in a majority. Walsdorf near Bamberg is one place where next August 15 will be a day off for everyone. “The workers are really pleased,” community manager Andreas Geck told Die Welt, although he admitted company owners were less taken with the idea.
Geiselwind in lower Franconia will also get the extra holiday as will Maßbach in the Bad Kissingen area, Sulzdorf an der Lederhecke in the Rhön-Grabfeld area, Thüngen in Main-Spessart, Gochsheim in Schweinfurt and Leipheim in Günzburg.