Festivals and Events

German Culture
Germany offers far more than Carnival, Octoberfest and the Christmas (Weihnachts) markets, regardless of the time of year throughout the country there are countless festivals and events taking place.

Bird's Wedding, a Children's Tradition in Sorbia star
The "Bird's Wedding" is a unique January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany. In miniature wedding costumes the bride is a Magpie, her groom a Raven, or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird, and everyone from guests to the chaplain are colorful "Birds".

Carnival in Cologne, Women's Thursday star
Carnival in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away winter's evil spirits. Now the Thursday before Ash Wednesday is Weiberfastnacht in Rhineland, when Karneval Wieber (women) cause havoc, take over City Halls and leave no necktie safe from their jumbo scissors.

Carnival Jelly Donut, a Faschingskrapfen Recipe star
Unless traditional food is involved a festival is not a festival in Germany, and for Karneval, Mardi Gras, that food is Faschingskrapfen, Carnival Jelly Donuts. Its story and recipe for those Berliner, Pfannkuchen, Fastnachtskrapfen - same thing, different names depending on the region.

Germany in Springtime star
Spring wild flowers add to picturesque landscapes, and from cities to medieval villages Fruehling Festivals and events take place across Germany. Evenings are lighter and days milder, but, to take advantage of the tables and chairs starting to appear outside cafe´s, don´t forget those ´layers´.

Germany´s Ruhr Valley - Ruhrgebiet star
Germany´s rejuvenated Ruhr Valley has an industrial history reaching back 750 years, and its revitalized metropolis of 53 towns and cities has been a "European Capital of Culture". A tribute which honored the way the whole region emphasizes European cultures, and the links that connect them.

Halloween and All Saints Day in Germany star
Halloween has arrived in Germany. Although not quite in the style of the USA’s huge ‘Trick or Treat’ Festival nevertheless the witches have returned, parties are held, pumpkins decorated, and ghosts and ghouls are to be seen wandering the country´s cities and suburbs, alongside the traditional All Saints Day customs.

International Green Week in Berlin star
Every January Berlin´s annual food, agriculture and horticulture fair takes place. Said to be the largest in the world, it has kept in step with the times since its beginnings in 1926, and the long time enthusiasm throughout Germany for the environment, ecology and green food, organic products, is now mirrored from across the world in The International Green Week.

Munich´s Oktoberfest star
A huge historic country fair, and the world’s largest Volksfest. The Oktoberfest started as a horse race to honour a wedding, and over 200 years later remains an annual festival of Bavarian exuberance, draught beer and beer garden food.

Oktoberfest in Munich, 15 Fast Facts star
Albert Einstein once worked there as an electrician, an intoxicated dachshund was delivered to Lost and Found, it uses enough electricity to give 52 years of power to a home for four, and emigrants from Germany have taken it all over the world, but Oktoberfest began over 200 years ago in Munich.

Oktoberfest Hearts - Gingerbread Cookie Hearts star
Lebkuchen Hearts can be found at most spring and summer festivals, as well as Weihnachtsmärkte, but at Munich's Oktoberfest the mottoes on many heart shaped gingerbread cookies are in Bairisch, dialect. Traditions, mottoes and translations for those unmissable accompaniments to Oktoberfest beer.

The Oberammergau Passion Play star
The wind of change has blown through the Bavarian village of Oberammergau’s centuries old and unique Passion Play, although Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem, his crucifixion and resurrection remain the focal points.

The Rhine In Flames star
A unique annual Fire, Water, Light and Culture festival which takes place for five days during the spring, summer and autumn, along one of the most beautiful, and historic, stretches of Germany's River Rhine.

Walpurgisnacht, Maibaum, May Day in Germany star
May 1st May Day Celebrations, in many parts of Germany, are filled with with Maypoles, Mayhem and Fun. Very different from the May Day parades with soldiers, rifles and tanks of communist countries, including the former East Germany.

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