CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH FORTE
Shhhh! It’s Sunday… or quiet hours… or a German holiday!
It’s Sunday afternoon and the lawn needs mowing. Oh! Not so fast! In Germany, it is considered impolite, or even illegal to be too noisy at certain times.
Sundays. Yep, all Sundays. “Sonntag” is considered a quiet day to spend with your family. Stores and restaurants will mostly be closed. This matter has even made it to the German courts. Part of this tradition is based on Sundays being a church day, but it also has to do with spending time with your family and taking a break. So it is also a quiet day, not a day to be making noises with your power tools.
Quiet hours. Beyond Sundays, there are daily quiet hours in the afternoon from 1300 until 1500. Also, overnight from 2200 until 0600. These are in place so that neighbors can get rest.
German Holidays. Some German holidays- like Christmas- are also American holiday, but others – like Workers Day, on 1 May – don’t match. A good rule of thumb is, if your neighbors don’t go to work, it’s a holiday. Or, if you prefer a plan, look up the German holidays and mark them on your calendar. Be aware, the amount of official German holidays varies by German state. Not all states celebrate the same holidays.
If you can hear it in your neighbor’s yard, it’s probably too loud. Mowing your lawn, working with power tools, playing music too loud are all examples.
So enjoy your peace and quiet. Take a walk! Read a book! You can even rake your leaves! But don’t mow the lawn. “Nicht am Sonntag!” Not on Sunday!
Here’s another great article with things that you CAN do on Sundays in Germany.