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Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Germany

Hofbräuhaus 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

2021

May 1:  May Day (maypole dances; closures)

May 13:  Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt; closures)

May 14–June 12:  Dresden Music Festival (classical music performances)

May 23–24:  Pentecost (Pfingsten) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag; maypole dancing and flower-bedecked cattle in some rural areas, closures)

May 28–June 6:  Weindorf wine festival, Würzburg

May 28–June 13:  Handel Festival, Halle

May 28–June 27:  Mozartfest centennial, Würzburg

June 3:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam; processions — particularly in Bavaria, flower carpets — particularly in rural Baden-Württemberg, closures across southern and western Germany)

June 4–5:  Elbjazz, Hamburg

June 11–13:  Luther's Wedding festival, Wittenberg

June 11–20:  Bach Festival, Leipzig

June 18–20:  Traumzeit Music Festival, Duisburg (eclectic line-up staged in a former industrial site)

June 18–July 18:  Tollwood Summer Festival, Munich (concert series, art, street theater)

June 24–27 & July 1–4:  Fusion Festival, Neustrelitz (Burning Man–esque counterculture free-for-all held on the grounds of a former airfield north of Berlin)

June 25–27:  Elbhangfest, Dresden (music, dance, wine)

June 30–July 5 (likely):  Freiburg Wine Festival (local wines, live music)

July 2–18:  Kiliani Volksfest, Würzburg (county fair–type folk festival)

July 4–6:  Melt Festival, Gräfenhainichen (electronic music and indie rock, near Wittenberg)

July 15–19:  Classic Open Air, Berlin (music on Gendarmenmarkt)

July 16–25:  Kinderzeche, Dinkelsbühl (traditional dancing, parades)

July 17 & 25 (likely):  Klassik Open Air, Nürnberg (series of free classical concerts and fireworks in Luitpoldhain park)

July 19–25 (weekends):  Kaltenberg Knights' Tournament (huge jousting festival, near Munich)

July 23–August 8:  Sommerwerft, Frankfurt (theatre and arts festival)

July 24:  Berlin Pride (a.k.a. Christopher Street Day Berlin)

July 30–August 1 (dates/event iffy for 2021):  Bardentreffen Nürnberg (world music festival)

July 30–September 5 (likely):  Nürnberg Summer Days (rides, carnival atmosphere around city)

August (3 days):  International Beer Festival, Berlin

August 13–22:  Berlin Leutchtet (one of two Berlin festivals featuring light installations on landmark buildings)

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

August 15:  Carnival of Cultures, Berlin (smaller celebration for 2021)

August 18–22:  Weindorf wine festival, Rothenburg ob der Tauber

August 19–23:  Sandkerwa Bavarian folk festival, Bamberg

August 26–30:  Wine festival, Cochem

August 27–29 (iffy for 2021):  Museumsuferfest, Frankfurt (music, food, culture)

September 1–10:  Rheingau Wine Festival, Frankfurt

September 3–5:  Reichsstadt Festival, Rothenburg ob der Tauber (fireworks)

September 3–11 (likely):  Green Sauce Festival, Frankfurt (street music, green-sauce sampling)

September 3–12:  Berlin Festival of Lights (one of two Berlin festivals featuring light installations on landmark buildings)

September 4–12:  Kieler Woche, Kiel (world's largest sailing festival, featuring historical-ship parades and cultural events in the city center)

September 8–18:  International Literature Festival Berlin

September 8–21:  Thuringian Bach Weeks, Erfurt

September 10–12:  Medieval festival, Selb (on the Czech border, northeast of Nürnberg)

September 10–14 & 17–20:  Wurstmarkt, Bad Dürkheim (world's biggest wine festival, near Heidelberg)

September 18 (iffy for 2021):  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 18–October 3:  Oktoberfest, Munich (a.k.a. Wies'n)

September 18–October 11 (dates/event iffy for 2021):  Berliner Oktoberfest

September 24–October 9 (iffy for 2021):  Cannstatter Volksfest (Oktoberfest in Stuttgart)

September 30–October 9:  Filmfest Hamburg

October 1–11:  Wine harvest festival, Neustadt an der Weinstrasse

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

October 8–10:  Onion Market festival, Weimar

October 8–10 (likely):  Cologne Pride Street Festival

October 20–24:  Frankfurter Buchmesse (huge book fair and publishers' convention)

October 22–November 7 (weekends; dates likely):  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 4–7:  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 (remembrances, but no closures)

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

November 17:  Repentance Day (closures in Saxony)

November 19–January 16:  Christmas Garden Berlin (light show in Berlin Botanical Gardens; also held in Dresden, Cologne, Frankfurt, Hannover, Koblenz, Münster, and Stuttgart)

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 Berlin

December 6:  Nikolaustag (St. Nicholas Day; St. Nick, often with companion in tow, often seen around town on evening prior)

December 24:  Christmas Eve (Der Heilige Abend; Germans decorate trees and open presents, shops close at noon)

December 25:  Christmas Day (closures)

December 26:  Boxing Day (closures)

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


2022

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)

January 23–February 1 (likely):  CTM Festival, Berlin (electronic / experimental music and art)

February–March:  Fasching/Fastnacht/Karneval, primarily in southern regions and Cologne (carnival season — parties and parades in the days leading up to Ash Wednesday; Cologne's huge Rosenmontag parade is February 28)

February 10–20:  Berlin International Film Festival (a.k.a. "Berlinale")

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

April 1–April 24 (likely):  Thuringian Bach Weeks, Erfurt

April (2 weeks):  Spring Festival, Nürnberg (rides and costumes in Luitpoldhain park)

April 15:  Good Friday (Karfreitag; closures)

April 16–24 (likely):  Montgolfiade Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Lake Tegern (east of Oberammergau, in Bavaria)

April 17–18:  Easter (Ostern) Sunday and Monday (closures)

April 22–May 8 (likely):  Spring Festival, Munich (Frühlingsfestival, the "little sister of Oktoberfest")

May 1:  May Day (maypole dances in rural areas, labor demonstrations and street festivals in Berlin's Kreuzberg district, closures)

May 7–8 (likely):  Hafengeburtstag (harbor's birthday), Hamburg (giant maritime festival)

May 7–14 (likely):  Green Sauce Festival, Frankfurt (street music, green-sauce sampling)

May 13–June 11 (likely):  Dresden Music Festival (classical music performances)

May 18–27 (likely):  Fressgass' Fest, Frankfurt

May 26:  Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt; closures)

May 27–June 5 (likely):  Weindorf wine festival, Würzburg

May 27–June 12 (likely):  Handel Festival, Halle

Late May–early June:  Mozartfest, Würzburg

June 3–4 (likely):  Elbjazz, Hamburg

June 3–5:  Rock am Ring rock festival, Nürburg (near Koblenz — not to be confused with Nürnberg)

June 3–6:  Carnival of Cultures, Berlin (street parade on Sunday)

June 3–6 (likely):  Meistertrunk Show, Rothenburg (historic play and market, medieval costumes, Biergarten parties)

June 5–6:  Pentecost (Pfingsten) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag; maypole dancing and flower-bedecked cattle in some rural areas, closures)

June 10–12 (likely):  Luther's Wedding festival, Wittenberg

June 10–19 (likely):  Bach Festival, Leipzig

June 16:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam; processions — particularly in Bavaria, flower carpets — particularly in rural Baden-Württemberg, closures across southern and western Germany)

June 17–19 (likely):  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 17–19 (likely):  Traumzeit Music Festival, Duisburg (eclectic line-up staged in a former industrial site)

June 17–July 17 (likely):  Tollwood Summer Festival, Munich (concert series, art, street theater)

June 24–26 (likely):  Elbhangfest, Dresden (music, dance, wine)

June 24–26 (likely):  Oberlindenhock, Freiburg (street food, live music)

July 9:  Kölner Lichter, Cologne (fireworks and music)