German Holidays 2019
What do people celebrate in Germany?
As a predominantly Christian country, most celebrations and German national holidays are religious festivities. However, Germany also celebrates a number of non-religious events.
What holidays do German people celebrate?
Essential list of German holidays and upcoming holidays:
- New Year’s Day (Neujahr), January 1, Tuesday.
- Three Kings Day (Heilige Drei Könige), January 6, Sunday.
- Fasching, March 4, Monday.
- Good Friday (Karfreitag), April 19, Friday.
- Easter Monday (Ostermontag), April 22, Monday.
- Labour Day (Tag der Arbeit), May 01, Wednesday.
- Mother’s Day (Muttertag), May 12, Sunday.
- Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt), May 30, Thursday.
- Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag), June 10, Monday.
- Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam), June 20, Thursday.
- Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt), August 15, Thursday.
- Oktoberfest, September 21, Saturday.
- German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit), October 03, Thursday.
- Harvest Festival (Erntedankfest), October 06, Sunday.
- Day of Reformation (Reformationstag), October 31, Thursday.
- All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen), November 01, Friday.
- Christmas Eve (Weihnachten), December 24, Tuesday.
- Christmas Day 1 (1. Weihnachtstag), December 25, Wednesday.
- Christmas Day 2 (2. Weihnachtstag), December 26, Thursday.
New Year's Day, Tuesday, January 1
New Year's Day (Neujahr) is a National Holiday and a chance to rest after the festivities of the night before. Bleigießen, a type of fortune-telling, is popular on this day (and on New Year's Eve).
Three Kings Day, Sunday, January 6
Also known as the Epiphany, Three Kings Day (Heilige Drei Könige) is the day the German Christmas tree is taken down and child carol singers dressed as kings collect money for charity. It is a public holiday in not all but a few states; namely, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Sachsen.
Carnival, Monday March 4th
Fasching in Germany is a period of Carnival celebrations that go on until Ash Wednesday. Notable Carnival parades in Germany take place in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Aachen.
Good Friday, Friday, April 19th
Like much of the Christian world, Good Friday (Karfreitag) is a national holiday. Christians attend church, whilst others enjoy the day off.
When is Easter this year?
Easter takes place in Germany from Friday, April the 19th, to Monday, the 22nd, in 2019.
Easter Monday, Monday, April 22nd
Easter Monday (Ostermontag) is also a national holiday. Monday is about spending quality time with family.
Labor Day, Wednesday, May 1st
Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit) on May the 1st is a national holiday in Germany.
How is May Day celebrated in Germany?
May Day, May 1st, in Germany is marked with a blend of pagan rituals and also the celebrations of worker's rights. There are lots of celebrations and parties on the night of the 30th April into the 1st of May; the motto for this night is Tanz in den Mai or “Dance into May”.
Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12th
Mother's Day (Muttertag) falls on the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day is marked by the giving of flowers and cards to one's mother.
Ascension Day, Thursday, May 30th
Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt), 40 days after Easter, is another National Holiday in Germany. On Ascension Day Christians, most notably Catholics, attend a church service and spend time with family. It's also Father's Day, or Men's Day, where groups of male relatives enjoy activities together.
Whit Monday, Monday, June 10th
Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag), sometimes referred to as Pentecost Sunday, falls on the 7th Monday after Easter and it means a day off work for German employees. For Catholics, it's a Holy Day of Observance, so in the south and west of the country, many people go to church.
Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 20th
Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) is another movable feast, which takes place 60 days after Easter. It is not a national holiday but is a regional public holiday in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. In these parts, you may see Catholics head to the streets for a procession after Mass.
Assumption Day, Thursday, August 15th
Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) is another Christian festival that is mostly observed by Catholics and is, therefore, most visible in the regions to the south and west. In Bavaria and Saarland, in fact, it is a public holiday. The Feast of the Assumption of Mary marks Mary's ascension to heaven. Catholics attend a special Mass service with the giving of Mary's Nuts (walnuts and hazelnuts) to children.