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South Africans in Germany

We compiled a list of annual traditional festivals and events in Germany, that we believe will provide you with an exciting array of activities and events to attend throughout the year.  If you have any ideas or recommendations regarding events or festivals that we should add to our list, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through the contact form. We value your input and suggestions in making our list as comprehensive and accurate as possible. 

List of events

Use the search option to filter by Month, State, City or Type of Event

MonthDurationStateCity or RegionTypeEvent and Link
0101 JanuaryAllAllCelebrationNew Years Day
0106 JanuaryAllAllCelebrationHeilige Drei Könige
01January and FebruaryBayern and Baden-WürttembergVariousKarnevalZunfttermine
02February and MarchNordrhein-WestfalenKölnKarnevalKarneval in Köln
02FebruaryBerlinBerlinFilm FestivalBerlinale
03March or AprilAllAllCelebrationEaster Traditions
03March and AprilBayernNürnbergFrühlingsfest / VolksfestNürnberger Volksfest
04April and MayBaden-WürttembergStuttgartFrühlingsfest / Volksfest
04April and MayBayernMunichFrühlingsfest / VolksfestMünchner Frühlingsfest
051 MayAllVariousMay DayMay Day Traditions
05MayNordrhein-WestfalenBonnFireworksDen Rhein in Flammen
05May (over Pentacost)BayernRothenburg ob der TauberTraditional FestivalMeistertrunk
05May and JuneBayernWürzburgWine FestivalWeindorf Würzburg
05MayHamburgHamburgCelebrationPort Anniversary
06JuneSchleswig-HolsteinKielMartimeKieler Woche
06JuneSachsen-AnhaltWittenbergTraditional FestivalLuthers Hochzeit
06June and JulyHesseFrankfurtTraditional FestivalGrüne Soße Festspiele
06June and JulyBayernLandshutTraditional FestivalLandshuter Hochzeit
07JulyBaden-WürttembergUlmVolksfestUlmer Volksfest
07JulyBaden-WürttembergUlmTraditional FestivalUlmer Nabada
07JulyRheinland-Pfalz.Bingen RüdesheimFireworksDen Rhein in Flammen
07JulyBayernSchloss KaltenbergMedieval FestivalKaltenberger Ritterturnier
08August and SeptemberRheinland-Pfalz Bad Dürkheim Wine FestivalDürkheimer Wurstmarkt
08August and SeptemberBaden-WürttembergStuttgartWine FestivalStuttgarter Weindorf
08AugustBayernRothenburg ob der TauberWine FestivalRothenburg Wine Festival
08August, September, October, NovemberBaden-WürttembergLUDWIGSBURGTraditional FestivalPumpkin Festival
08AugustBrandenburgPotsdamTraditional Festival
Postdame Schlössernacht
08AugustBayernBambergTraditional FestivalBamberger Sandkerwa
08AugustRheinland-PfalzSpay Koblenz FireworksDen Rhein in Flammen
08August and SeptemberBayernNürnbergHerbstfest / VolksfestNürnberger Volksfest
08August and SeptemberNordrhein-WestfalenBonnTraditional FestivalPützchens Markt
08August and SeptemberHesseFrankfurtWine FestivalRheingau Wine Festival
08AugustRheinland PfalzCohemWine FestivalHeimat-und Weinfest
09SeptemberRheinland-PfalzOberwesel FireworksDen Rhein in Flammen
09SeptemberRheinland-PfalzSt. GoarFireworksDen Rhein in Flammen
09September and OctoberBayern and Baden-WürttembergBayern, dem Allgäu, Tirol, Montafon, Vorarlberg, Zillertal, Kärnten, Steiermark, restliches Österreich, Schweiz und Südtirol.AlmabtriebTermine Almabtrieb und Viehscheid
09September and OctoberRheinland-PfalzNeustadt an der WeinstraßeWine FestivalWine Harvest Festival
09SeptemberBerlinBerlinBeer FestivalBerlin Beer Week
09SeptemberBayernSelbMedieval FestivalFestival-Mediaval
09SeptemberBayernRothenburg ob der TauberTraditional FestivalReichsstadt Festival
09September and OctoberBayernMunichOktoberfestOfficial Oktoberfest website
09September and OctoberBaden-WürttembergStuttgartVolksfestCannstatter Volksfest
09September and OctoberBerlinBerlinOktoberfestOktoberfest in Berlin
10First Sunday in OctoberAllVariousHarvest FestivalInformation in German about the Ertedankfest
10OctoberThüringenWiemarTraditional FestivalZwiebelmarkt Weimar
10OctoberBerlinBerlinCelebrationBerlin Festival of lights
1111 NovemberAllVariousCelebrationMartinstag
11NovemberBayernBad TölzTraditional FestivalTÖLZER LEONHARDIFAHRT
12November and DecemberAllVariousChristmas MarketsChristmas Markets
12December and JanuaryAllVariousChristmas GardensChristmas Garden
12ChristmasAllVariousChristmasChristmas Traditions
1231 DecemberAllVariousSylvesterNew Year’s Eve Celebrations

Special days and observations

08.02.2024ThuWeiberfastnachtWomens CarnivalALL
12.02.2024MonRosenmontagShrove MondayALL
13.02.2024TueFastnachtShrove TuesdayALL
14.02.2024WedValentinstagValentine’s DayALL
14.02.2024WedAschermittwochAsh WednesdayALL
01.03.2024FriFrühlingsanfang meteorologischStart of the meteorological Spring
20.03.2024WedFrühlingsanfangStart of Spring
24.03.2024SunPalmsonntagPalm SundayALL
28.03.2024ThuGründonnerstagMaundy Thursday or Holy ThursdayALL
30.03.2024SatKarsamstagHoly SaturdayALL
31.03.2024SunSommerzeitbeginnStart of Summer TimeALL
30.04.2024TueWalpurgisnachtSaint Walpurgis NightALL
09.05.2024ThuVatertagFathers DayALL
12.05.2024SunMuttertagMothers DayALL
01.06.2024SatSommeranfang meteorologischStart of the meteorological Summer
01.06.2024SatInternationaler KindertagInternational Childrens DayALL
17.06.2024Mon17. Juni 1953 *Uptil 1990 it was the German Unity DayALL
20.06.2024ThuSommeranfang, SommersonnenwendeStart of Summer
24.06.2024MonJohannistagSt. John’s DayALL
29.06.2024SatPeter und PaulThe Feast of Saints Peter and PauALL
08.08.2024ThuAugsburger FriedensfestBY
01.09.2024SunHerbstanfang meteorologischStart of the meteorological Autumn
22.09.2024SunHerbstanfangStart of Autumn
06.10.2024SunErntedankfest *Haverst FestivalALL
27.10.2024SunSommerzeitendeEnd of Summer TimeALL
02.11.2024SatAllerseelenAll Souls’ DayALL
11.11.2024MonMartinstagSt Martins DayALL
17.11.2024SunVolkstrauertagRemembrance DayALL
24.11.2024SunTotensonntagSunday of the deadALL
01.12.2024Sun1. AdventFirst AdventALL
01.12.2024SunWinteranfang meteorologischStart of the meteorological Winter
04.12.2024WedBarbaratagSt Barbara’s Day
06.12.2024FriNikolausSt Nikolau’s DayALL
08.12.2024Sun2. AdventSecond AdventALL
15.12.2024Sun3. AdventThird AventALL
21.12.2024SatWinteranfang, WintersonnenwendeStart of Winter
22.12.2024Sun4. AdventFourth AdventALL
24.12.2024TueHeiligabendChristmas EveALL
31.12.2024TueSilvesterOld Years EveALL


Also called the fifth season, and things can get a bit “Narrisch” 
So what is Carnival, Fastnacht and Faching
These are basically the same but they differ from region to region.

  • Fasching – Austria, Bavaria, Berlin, Brandenburg, Sachsen
  • Fastnacht – Baden, Franconia, Hesse, Saarland, Mainz, Swabenland, Switzerland and Luxumbourg
  • Karneval – Rhineland: Aachen, Bonn, Köln and Düsseldorf

Carnival is a celebration of excess and includes parades, floats, dancing, formal balls, wearing costumes, noise and a lot of partying. It is the period before Lent, that starts on Ash Wednesday.
Lent is a time of repentance and abstinence in preparation for Easter.

This is yet another version of carnival.
The local carnival clubs of the Swabian-Alemannic carnival and some of the Rhenish carnival describe themselves as fools’ guilds. These guilds are mostly organised in the legal form of a registered association (Verein).
You can find the “Zunfttermine” here.
You can find a list of the associations / Vereine here.

Oktoberfest or Bierfests

The festival originated on October 12, 1810, in celebration of the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria, who later became King Louis I, to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The start date has been moved to the end of September to take advantage of the milder weather. The original festival is held in Munich on the Theresienwiese, or “Wiesn,”. Other cities are now joining in the celebrations with their own bierfests.

Bierbörse or Beer exchanges are also very popular. A beer exchange is an event dedicated to the art of brewing from around the world and is not comparable to other city festivals. The fair consists of two-thirds beer outlets and one-third food outlets. The event is characterized by peaceful and cosy beer enjoyment, with visitors able to choose from several hundred local and exotic beers. The beer specialties are not only available fresh from the tap, but can also be bought as bottled beers and taken home with you. See the Bierbörse page for event dates



One of the most exciting events in Germany during springtime is a Frühlingsfest. It is a wonderful opportunity to take part in traditional German music, dance, and food. From the colorful decorations to the lively crowds, there is a sense of excitement and joy in the air. It’s a time to indulge in delicious German cuisine, from sausages and pretzels to sweet pastries and refreshing drinks.
A Frühlingsfest is truly a must-see event in Germany during the spring season. With so much to see and do, it’s a fantastic way to experience German culture and create unforgettable memories with loved ones.

Wine festivals

There are a variety of wonderful wine festivals held in Germany throughout the year. From the iconic Oktoberfest (yes also for wine) to smaller, more intimate celebrations, these festivals offer a great opportunity to sample some of the country’s finest wines and experience local culture. Some of the popular festivals include the Wurstmarkt in Bad Dürkheim, the Mosel Wine Festival in Bernkastel-Kues, and the Wine Village Festival in Freinsheim. Each festival has its unique charm and distinctive wine varietals to explore. In addition to wine tasting, visitors can also enjoy traditional German cuisine, live music, and other delightful cultural activities. Whether you are a wine enthusiast or just looking for a fun time, these wine festivals are definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in Germany!


In the Alpine regions, the Almabtrieb (Bavarian) or Viehscheid (Allgäu) refer to the drive of cattle from the mountain pastures into the valley, where they spend the winter in the farm stables. Depending on the regional climate, the cattle drive takes place between mid-September and mid-October and is often accompanied by festive customs.

The Viehscheid in Immenstadt is considered the only urban alpine cattle drive in Germany.  Musical entertainment is provided all day and there are food and drinks to be enjoyed. In the afternoon, the Scheidschellenwürfeln takes place. 
The Almabtrieb über den Köningsee is also a highlight.

Harvest festivals

Harvest festivals or Erntedankfest is an annual celebration to give thanks to God for the gifts of the harvest. On this thanksgiving Sunday, churches are decorated and the steps in front of the altar are decorated with the gifts of nature. In some places, there are processions with colourfully decorated floats and music.
It is always on the first Sunday in October.


Ritterspiele, often referred to as jousting games or tournaments, are a highly skilled and immensely entertaining art form that has its roots firmly planted in the rich traditions of European Middle Ages. It is a fascinating sport that has gained immense popularity and has since evolved into both an art form and a mode of entertainment, captivating audiences worldwide. The event often features highly skilled and well-trained knights, battling it out on horseback while using lances to strike their opponents with the objective of knocking them off their horse. The Ritterspiele events are characterized by intricate costumes, beautifully designed shields, and awe-inspiring armor that speak to the grandeur of the medieval era. It is a perfect representation of a bygone era, one that brings to life a time when courage, chivalry, and honor were the watchwords of the day.


A Volksfest is more than just a festival; it is a deeply-rooted cultural tradition that has been observed and celebrated for many years. This type of festival is typically held in towns and cities around the country, where locals and tourists alike come together to enjoy various activities and attractions.

One of the main features of a Volksfest is the traditional costumes that many people wear. These costumes vary depending on the region but often include items like lederhosen for men and dirndls for women. Along with the costumes, there is plenty of delicious food to enjoy, including classic local dishes like schnitzel and sausages.

Of course, no Volksfest would be complete without beer and music, and both are in abundant supply at these events. Visitors can enjoy live music performances, dancing, and perhaps even a sing-along or two. To top it all off, there is often a funfair with rides and games, making a Volksfest an unforgettable experience.

Christmas Markets

German Christmas markets are truly a magical and delightful experience that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. These markets are not just marketplaces, they are cultural events that showcase the best of German traditions and hospitality.
Each market is unique in its own way, some are vibrant and lively, while others are cozy and intimate, but all of them are filled with the smells of gingerbread and roasted nuts, twinkling lights, and cheerful carolers. Visitors can shop for handcrafted ornaments, toys, and gifts, or try traditional foods such as sausages, mulled wine, and stollen cake.
Every stall offers a glimpse into the country’s history and culture, and the festive atmosphere is contagious. From the largest markets in Berlin and Munich to the smaller markets in cozy towns, German Christmas markets are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and should definitely be added to any traveler’s bucket list.


Christmas Christmas is a very important celebration in Germany. The festive season starts on St Nickolas day, the 6th of December and ends with “Heilige Drei Könige” on the 6th of January. Nikolastag 06 December. Children leave a pair of cleaned boots outside their door and the boots are filled with

German Christmas Traditions

St. Nicholas Day St Nicholas Day, known as Nikolaustag in Germany, is celebrated on the 6th of December. Children leave a pair of cleaned boots outside their door on the evening of the 5th. The boots are then filled with sweets and small gifts. According to legend, Nicholas of Myra

Christmas Markets

Visiting Christmas markets in Germany is a delightful way of celebrating the festive season. The heavy scent of sweets, fried sausage and warm wine welcome you to a variety of Christmas delicacies. If you’re feeling a little chilly, grab a warm mug of Glühwein and catch up with friends. Not only