Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Germany

HofbrÀuhaus musicians, Munich, Germany
The spirit of Oktoberfest lives on year-round in Munich's beer halls.
  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates on the festival's website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism site for Germany.
  • This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout Germany. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn't a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals across Europe

2018

April 20–May 6:  Spring Festival, Munich (Frühlingsfestival, the "little sister of Oktoberfest")

May 1:  May Day (maypole dances; closures)

May 2–13:  Munich International Documentary Film Festival

May 10:  Ascension Day (closures)

May 10–June 10:  Dresden Music Festival (classical music performances)

May 12–19:  Green Sauce Festival, Frankfurt (street music, green-sauce sampling)

May 18–21:  Meistertrunk Show, Rothenburg (historic play and market, medieval costumes, Biergarten parties)

May 18–21:  Carnival of Cultures, Berlin (street parade on Sunday)

May 20–21:  Pentecost (Pfingsten) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag; closures)

May 23–June 1:  Fressgass' Fest, Frankfurt

May 25–June 3:  Weindorf wine festival, Würzburg

May 25–June 10:  Handel Festival, Halle

May 25–June 24:  Mozartfest, Würzburg

May 31:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam, closures in southern and western Germany)

June 8–10:  Luther's Wedding festival, Wittenberg

June 8–17:  Bach Festival, Leipzig

June 15–17:  Stadtteilfest Bunte Republik Neustadt, Dresden (huge counter-cultural block party celebrating the Outer New Town's tongue-in-cheek status as an independent republic)

June 22–24:  Elbhangfest, Dresden (music, dance, wine)

June 27–July 22:  Tollwood Summer Festival, Munich (concert series, art, street theater)

June 29–July 1:  Oberlindenhock, Freiburg (street food, live music)

July 5–9:  Classic Open Air, Berlin (music on Gendarmenmarkt)

July 5–10:  Freiburg Wine Festival (local wines, live music)

July 6–22:  Kiliani Volksfest, Würzburg (county fair–type folk festival)

July 13–15:  Melt Festival, Gräfenhainichen (electronic music and indie rock, near Wittenberg)

July 13–22:  Kinderzeche, Dinkelsbühl (traditional dancing, parades)

July 13–15 & 20–22 & 27–29: Kaltenberg Knights' Tournament (huge jousting festival, near Munich)

July 21:  Kölner Lichter, Cologne (fireworks and music)

July 22:  Klassik Open Air, Nürnberg (series of free classical concerts and fireworks in Luitpoldhain park)

July 20–August 5:  Sommerwerft, Frankfurt (theatre and arts festival)

July 26–30 (likely):  Schlossbergfest, Freiburg (music festival on Schlossberg hill)

July 27–29:  Bardentreffen Nürnberg (world music festival)

August 3–5:  International Beer Festival, Berlin

August 4:  Klassik Open Air, Nürnberg (series of free classical concerts and firewords in Luitpoldhain park)

August 15:  Assumption (Mariä Himmelfahrt, closures in Bavaria and Saarland)

August 15–19:  Weindorf wine festival, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

August 23–27:  Wine festival, Cochem; Sandkerwa Bavarian folk festival, Bamberg

August 24–26:  Museumsuferfest, Frankfurt (music, food, culture)

August 24–September 9:  Fall Folk Festival, Nürnberg (rides and costumes in Luitpoldhain park)

August 29–September 7:  Rheingau Wine Festival, Frankfurt

August 31–November 4:  Ludwigsburg (Baden-Württemberg) Pumpkin Festival

Early September (3 days):  Reichsstadt Festival, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (fireworks)

September 5–15:  International Literature Festival Berlin

September 6–9:  Medieval festival, Selb (on the Czech border, northest of Nürnberg)

September 15:  Rhine in Flames festival, St. Goar (fireworks; nearby towns on the Rhine host the Rhine in Flames earlier in the year; check online for dates)

September 21–October 14:  Berliner Oktoberfest

September 22–October 7:  Oktoberfest, Munich (a.k.a. Wies'n)

September 27–October 6:  Filmfest Hamburg

September 28–October 14:  Cannstatter Volksfest (Oktoberfest in Stuttgart)

September 28–October 14:  Berlin Leutchtet (festival of lights)

October 2–15:  Wine harvest festival, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse

October 3:  German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit; closures)

October 10–14:  Frankfurter Buchmesse (huge book fair and publishers' convention)

October 12–14:  Onion Market festival, Weimar

October 19–November 4 (weekends):  Halloween in Frankenstein Castle (near Darmstadt)

October 31:  Reformation Day celebration, Wittenberg (and closures in some Protestant areas)

November 1:  All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen, closures in southern and western Germany)

November 1–4:  Jazzfest Berlin

November 6:  Leonhardifahrt, Bad Tölz (traditional Bavarian religious procession in spa town south of Munich)

November 9:  Night of Broken Glass Remembrance Day; anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

November 11:  St. Martin's Day (Martinstag) and official start to Karneval season (colorful costumes and revelry in Cologne)

November 15–January 6 (likely):  Christmas Garden Berlin (light show in Berlin Botanical Gardens)

November 21:  Repentance Day (closures in Saxony)

November 23–December 31 (likely):  Tollwood Winter Festival, Munich (music, circus, and cultural events performed on Oktoberfest fairgrounds)

December:  Christmas markets throughout Germany, particularly in Nürnberg, Munich, Rothenburg, and Freiburg, and Christmas Garden Berlin (light show in Berlin Botanical Gardens)

December 6:  St. Nikolaus Day (parades; kids get gifts from St. Nick)

December 24:  Christmas Eve (Der Heilige Abend, when Germans celebrate Christmas)

December 25:  Christmas Day (closures)

December 26:  Boxing Day (closures)

December 31:  New Year's Eve (Silvester; fireworks, particularly big in Berlin)

2019

January 1:  New Year's Day (closures)

January 6:  Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige, volunteers dressed as Three Kings go door-to-door caroling and collecting for charity; some closures)

Through early January:  Christmas Garden Berlin (light show in Berlin Botanical Gardens)

January 25–February 3:  CTM Festival, Berlin (electronic / experimental music and art)

January 25–February 3 (likely):  Montgolfiade Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Lake Tegern (east of Oberammergau, in Bavaria)

January 27:  Remembrance Day for the Victims of National Socialism

February–March:  Fasching/Fasnacht (carnival season, balls, parades in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday; Cologne's huge Rosenmontag parade is March 4)

February 7–17:  Berlin International Film Festival (a.k.a. "Berlinale")

March 20–April 14 (likely):  Thuringian Bach Weeks, Erfurt

April 5–7 (likely):  FestungsLeuchten, Koblenz (sound-and-light show along the Rhine at Ehrenbreitstein fortress; fireworks show on final evening)

April 19:  Good Friday (Karfreitag)

April 19–May 5 (likely):  Spring Festival, Munich (Frühlingsfestival, the "little sister of Oktoberfest")

April 20–22:  Ostermünde, Travemünde (beach bonfire and other Easter-themed celebrations near Lübeck)

April 20–May 12:  Spring Festival, Nürnberg (rides and costumes in Luitpoldhain park)

April 21–22:  Easter Sunday and Monday (Ostersonntag and Ostermontag; closures)

May 1:  May Day (maypole dances; closures)

May 30:  Ascension Day (closures)