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Unity Day commemorates the reunification of Germany

October 3 is German Unity Day, a holiday to commemorate the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. Each year, Unity Day is marked with a ceremonial act and a festival in the German state that presides over Bundesrat, the Federal Council, that year. The main festivities will be held in Bonn, which is the former capital of West Germany, but other states will hold their own ceremonies as well.

This year, the holiday falls on a Monday, so everyone in Germany will have the day off. All the stores and offices will be closed, and public services, such as buses and trains, will run on a more relaxed Sunday schedule, which is good news for anyone who is planning to take part in Oktoberfest. The two-week festival usually ends on the first Sunday of October, but it has been extended to include the holiday this year.

Germans who are working in other countries will wire money to their families to they can go to Oktoberfest or cook a big meal for the holiday. Unity day is often commemorated with speeches from politicians and other figureheads, as well as fireworks and concerts.