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Traditionally celebrated on October 31st – on the same day as Halloween – Reformation Day is a Protestant holiday that commemorates the Reformation movement started by Martin Luther in the 16th century.In many of the German states it is a public holiday, and as such many arms of the government and court system are often closed. S., this commemorative holiday is usually moved to the Sunday before Halloween, a day known as Reformation Sunday.
Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor, was dying—he brought his coffin with him wherever he travelled—but he was taking his time about it. Furthermore, he was young—only seventeen when Luther wrote the Ninety-five Theses. It had also started an ambitious building campaign, including the reconstruction of St. To pay for these ventures, it had borrowed huge sums from Europe’s banks, and to repay the banks it was strangling the people with taxes.
The presumptive heir, King Charles I of Spain, was looked upon with grave suspicion. It has often been said that, fundamentally, Luther gave us “modernity.” Among the recent studies, Eric Metaxas’s “Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World” (Viking) makes this claim in grandiose terms.
Reformation Day is an important day that allows Protestants to not only reflect on the history of their religion, but also one that is important in honoring the core belief system of Protestantism.
Down the corridors of religious history we hear this sound: Martin Luther, an energetic thirty-three-year-old Augustinian friar, hammering his Ninety-five Theses to the doors of the Castle Church of Wittenberg, in Saxony, and thus, eventually, splitting the thousand-year-old Roman Catholic Church into two churches—one loyal to the Pope in Rome, the other protesting against the Pope’s rule and soon, in fact, calling itself Protestant.
“The quintessentially modern idea of the individual was as unthinkable before Luther as is color in a world of black and white,” he writes.
“And the more recent ideas of pluralism, religious liberty, self-government, and liberty all entered history through the door that Luther opened.” The other books are more reserved.
Some people observe the day from a religious standpoint and use it to attend special church services.
Other people observe it as any other public holiday and take the time to shop or sight-see.
They differ on many points, but something that most of them agree on is that the hammering episode, so satisfying symbolically—loud, metallic, violent—never occurred.
Not only were there no eyewitnesses; Luther himself, ordinarily an enthusiastic self-dramatizer, was vague on what had happened.