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Many of Germany's fascinating festivals and traditions have mystical or religious origins, some can even be traced back to ancient vows. A large number of our religious festivals and customs that have been preserved to this day derive from times long gone, even if most of us no longer remember how or why they started. Among these are events to honour patron saints and guardians, which frequently involve religious rituals and ceremonies that include songs and prayer. However, one thing all events with a religious character have in common is that they convey central aspects of faith in a sociable setting. Prominent examples include the international World Youth Day organised by the Catholic Church, which is held in a different major city every other year. This event was launched by the Vatican and is run under the auspices of the Pontifical Council. Talks by the Dalai Lama also enjoy huge popularity. This great interest in public religious events shows that people want to experience spirituality in community with others.