German Festivals and Events
German festivals, events, and celebrations are an important aspect of Germany’s culture. Check out information on the many Germany festivals and events below, from Oktoberfest to the Rhine in Flames, Luther’s Wedding, and much more.
There simply aren’t enough superlatives to describe Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest. Held on the Wies’n fairground from the middle of September to the beginning of October, the festival is opened with the traditional cry of “O’zapft is” (the barrel is tapped).
Rhine in Flames
When 2,000 red Bengal lights bathe the famous sights of the Rhine and the riverside promenades between Bonn and Linz in a festive glow on the first Saturday in May, the illusion of the “Rhine in Flames” is created.
This annual June event is one of Germany’s most delightful festivals attracting 100,000 visitors and celebrates the marriage of Martin Luther, the Reformer to Katharina von Bora in 1525. The highlight of this three day event is a large parade through the streets of Wittenberg where around 1,000 participants dress in historical costumes.
The number one motorsport event in the world makes an annual stop at the Nürburgring attracting thousands of visitors. Out of all the racing series, Formula 1 is the most demanding, both in terms of the constructors’ financial muscle and technological capabilities, and the drivers’ racing skills. On 18 different circuits around the world the driver and his team compete for the coveted world championship title.
Bach Festival, Leipzig
Every year, the Bach Festival in Leipzig presents the immortal music of the great erstwhile cantor of St. Thomas’ Church in locations where he lived and worked. Concerts by the famous St. Thomas’ boys’ choir are always a truly memorable experience.
Kiel Sailing Regatta – Kieler Woche
The northern German city of Kiel welcomes more than 2,000 boats and 5,000 sailors to its coast, town center and the Olympic harbor at Lake Schilksee during this annual sailing event and exhilarating summer festival. Visitors from all over the globe flock to experience this social and cultural highlight and get close to the action, sailing alongside the regatta.
Germany’s Christmas markets are guaranteed to get you in the festive mood. As day becomes night at the Christmas markets, millions of Christmas lights sparkle and delicious aromas of mulled wine and spicy gingerbread waft through the air. Germany’s Christmas markets usually start around the end of November and finish on Christmas Eve. If you are after unusual gift ideas, handmade items or traditional Christmas decorations, then the Christmas markets are the perfect place to look.
New Year at Brandenburg Gate
Celebrate Silvester, as New Year is known in Germany, at Berlin’s most famous landmark. Each year the Bradenburg Gate attracts thousands of people from across Germany and much further afield to see in the New Year. There is live music throughout the evening to entertain the crowd and at midnight there is a spectacular firework display that lights up the Berlin sky whilst revelers crack open bottles of champagne and celebrate.
Carnival is celebrated with greater dedication in parts of Germany than in any, other European country. It is a time of elaborate parades, masks, balls and election of Carnival king and queen and official madness and generally takes place in early spring, seven weeks before Easter. Towns famous for their Carnival celebrations include Aachen, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Mainz, Munich and Muenster.
Since 1955, Kassel has provided the setting for the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art. New exhibition concepts are showcased alongside current trends that are moving the modern art scene. The documenta 13 will take place from June 9 to Sept 16, 2012.