Regional holidays and festivities

Every region has its own festivals and parties in Germany. Winemaking regions hold wine festivals, while other regions hold beer festivals – the best-known is the world-famous Oktoberfest in Munich. There are also citywide festivals with parades in historic costumes, theatre performances, historical arts and craft markets and medieval jousting. These festivals are usually part of a city’s annual fair.

Regional public holidays

Besides the national public holidays, there are also some regional public holidays in Germany. These include Epiphany (the Festival of the Three Kings), Corpus Christi, the Assumption of Mary, Reformation Day, and All Saints’ Day (1 November).

Carnival in Germany

Two clowns during carnival in Germany

People from Germany love to celebrate when and wherever the chance arises. One good opportunity is provided by carnival (Karneval), also known as Fasching or Fastnacht (Shrovetide). This is the "fifth season" and lasts several days in February or March. But not everywhere. The strongholds are in the Rhineland (Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Aachen, etc.), in the Rhine-Main area (Wiesbaden), and the Black Forest (Freiburg, Villingen-Schwenningen, Rottweil). In the major "centres", people dress up in costumes and party in the streets and pubs. Many towns and cities organise carnival processions. Colourful floats built of papier-mâché and wire netting make fun of the politicians and of topical developments in society as a whole.

By contrast, towns in the Black Forest celebrate Fastnacht in the old Alemannic tradition. Terrifying figures wearing wooden masks and fantastic costumes rule the streets in villages and towns as they try make as much noise as possible to drive the winter away. One thing's for sure, there are plenty of opportunities for having fun and taking part in the many different celebrations and festivals.

And while the revellers are celebrating in full swing, Germany's northern and southern regions attend to their everyday business. That's the diversity of Germany.