Luther500 Festival
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Will anyone speak English? (Can I learn German?)
The official language at the Festival will be English since we will have guests from different countries. When you meet with Wittenbergers outside the Festival events most of the young people speak English, since they learn it at school (and know it as well as one knows what one learns in school….). It is no problem to speak English with high-school students. Older people might have some problems with English, especially in the Wittenberg area where they learned Russian in school at the time of the German separation. However, you can learn a few phrases and words while in Germany, or a lot if you choose.  In any case, you may want to say “Danke schön” on occasion. Locals will know you’ve been to a LOST AND FOUND concert if you greet them with, “Stein Auf.”

What is the time difference between the USA and Germany?
Germans are awake in the morning when America is still sleeping. That’s because the earth is a ball and moves. If you want to know what the time is in Germany just add some hours to your time:  PST + 9 hours, so  8:00 am in Los Angeles is 5 pm in Wittenberg; MST + 8 hours; CST + 7 hours and EST + 6 hours.

If it happens that you life in Australia you are the most ahead – even earlier than the Germans. Subtract eight hours when you live in Sydney. And if your home is Central or Southern Africa it’s very easy:  Germans use your time!

What do Germans eat?
Hamburgers with Pommes (that’s what they call French Fries). Or Pizza. When you are in a hurry after school a Döner Kebap is most popular. And sometimes Germans even eat Bratwurst. Traditionally there are three meals at home: Breakfast, Mittagessen and Abendbrot. The Mittagessen used to be the main and warm meal, while the Abendbrot as the name for all German speakers suggests, is  “Evening Bread,” some slices of Sausage and Cheese with bread.

Our friend Christian also remembers that at his home Kaffeetrinken was very important. Regardless of how many stresses the family has had, at about four in the afternoon the family meets for a short break with Coffee and a cake. In the modern daily life there might be no time anymore for all those dinners. German teenagers leave home in the morning with a donut on the run and eat a Döner during the day. But as soon as the Germans have a free Sunday or are on vacation, they immediatly turn back to the traditional order. That’s also why a good breakfast is part of every hotel booking in Germany.

How do Germans tell the temperature?
 Germans measure temperatures in Celsius, which sounds surprisingly less German than Fahrenheit. The freezing point is 0 °C.  This means that a normal nice summer day may be 25 °C in Germany, which is 77 F. 

 What currency do the Germans use?

Like everyone in the European Union, Germany uses the Euro. The Euro comes in many denominations.  The symbol used is € .  The larger the denomination, the larger the size of bill; and each denomination is in a different color.  Coins have different sizes as well, and come as 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 Cent and 1 and 2 Euro.

Can I use my phone in Germany?
Yes, if it’s a triband cell phone (BTW: the Germans call it a “Handy.”) We can’t tell you if your cell is a triband.  Find out in the manual, or ask your dealer. But even if it works it might be extra expensive to use it. So why not limit the time you use the phone? Just text your family that you arrived well, and enjoy your time with open eyes and free hands in Germany!

Is there electricity in Germany?
Ah, yes. Parts of this website were actually created with German electricity. The “Allgemeine Elektriziäts Gesellschaft AEG” (General Electricity Company), founded in 1887, was in the business of electric light and vacuum cleaners (and much more). Werner von Siemens created the first electric train in 1882.

However, today Germany uses 220 Volt instead of 110 Volt electricity. Most devices, like the charger of your iPhone, should handle both; but it is best to make sure before you try it. If not you will need a transformer (converter) for all electrical appliances. Otherwise your mp3 player might run crazy. In any case you will need an adapter since German plugs look different. Buy a transformer and a set of adapters before you leave home. Be sure to get adapters that go with the transformer because many European receptacles are recessed.

Can I arrive early or stay longer?
Yes, of course!  You can make arrangements for special add ons through terra Lu Travel to get great prices and customized service.  In the past years, many groups began another trip on the last afternoon of the Festival.  Some go to other parts of Germany, some have visited Prague, Vienna, Amsterdam, or even traveled down to Italy or up to the UK.  There are lots of options.

If you bring a group and want to do a pre- or post-trip with your group it can be arranged in advance through our in-country ground travel partner Terra Lu Travel.

So, for example, if you’d like to add two extra days and travel along the Rhine, including a river cruise, you might fly home from Frankfurt rather than from Berlin. Perhaps you’d like to enjoy the sites of Bavaria and travel south to Munich for a few days, flying home from that city. The options are many, but our Terra-Lu will work with your group or family to make the trip enjoyable, memorable, easy and affordable. 

Will I have jet lag?
If you have traveled through several time zones jet lag can make you tired after you arrive at the Festival. Some people are more susceptible to it than others, and some people never even notice it. Here are some suggestions how to get in Festival mode as quickly as possible:

  • Try to get some sleep in the plane when you are traveling. Use ear plugs and a sleep mask.
  • Change the time on your watch and the cell phone to the German time, don’t think about what time it is at home.
  • Do not go to sleep when you arrive — go to bed at your usual time.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid heavy foods.

Within a day or so you will find that your body has adjusted.

What are the details of the medical insurance that is included?
The insurance which is included in the Festival Pass covers all costs of ambulatory and stationary treatment, all expenses for necessary medication, all rescue and transportation costs to a doctor or hospital, pain-relieving dental treatment, transport back home if hospital stay would be longer than 14 days, transport back home if medical need, costs for assistant person, 24 hr hotline, visa assistance etc. Insurance company is Wurzburger Insurances, the insurance meet the EU law 204/14/EG and is valid in all European countries.


I need something about the Festival to show to Parents, Pastors, Elders, and Sponsors!
Good idea. Share the info about the Festival also with those who do not have internet access or who are sitting in meeting without being online. You might use one of the the 2017  Program Books, a pdf of which you can find on the About Page of this website. You can print with all Information about the festival at a glance.


How many people can sleep in a "double bed room"?
Two.  A “double-bed” room consists of two beds which are put together to make couples feel more comfortable. In Germany every person staying in a hotel or guest house has to have a single bed.  (Married couples should picture the Cleavers, or Ozzie and Harriet.)  If you want to be in a room with your spouse, and have the habit of sleeping close, you can just put two beds together.  If you want to be in a room with your friend, and are not in the habit of sleeping close, you can just put the coffee table between the beds.

What does "Luther500" mean?
The phrase “Luther500” commemorates the 500th anniversary of the start of the Lutheran reformation. It was in 1517 that Dr. Martin Luther nailed 95 thesis to the door of the Castle church in Wittenberg. The year 2017 was the 500th Anniversary of this act of speaking truth to power.   But you know and we know: The Lutheran reformation is not something what happened on one day. In fact in Winter 2010/2011 as we planned the first Festival, it was 500 years since Luther was a pilgrim in Rome. And more anniversaries will come up like 500 years translation of the Bible, 500 years Diet of Worms, 500 years Small Catechism, 500 years Augsburg Confession… So “Luther500" stands for all these events to remember. And that’s why the Luther500 Festival will take place every other year - as God wills in 2019, 2021 and so on.