“Life is a festival only to the wise.”
Germany certainly seems to understand how to throw a fantastic festival! It’s one of the greatest places to explore some of the world’s largest and strangest festivals.
This blog will tell you about 10 festivals in Germany that’ll make you want to pack your bags and travel there soon…
From Karneval to Munich Opera Festival, to the spectacular lights of the Weihnachtsmarkts – there’s always something in Germany’s festivities.
Karneval (Mid-February), Cologne
Karneval is a time to party and enjoy music, food, and dance. Costume balls, masks, masquerade balls, parades. In northern Germany, Braunschweig holds one of the largest parades out of any other city in all of Germany. Traditionally, the "fifth season" (carnival season) is declared open at 11 minutes past 11 on the 11th of the 11th month of November. Street carnival, a week-long street festival, also called "the crazy days", takes place between Fat Thursday (Weiberfastnacht) and Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch). The highlight of the carnival is Rose Monday (Rosenmontag), two days before Ash Wednesday.
Munich Ballet Festival (Early April), Munich
Munich Ballet Festival is perhaps one of the busiest times of the year for the Bavarian State Ballet (Bayerische Staatsballett). This ballet has recently become one of the most prestigious events in all of Europe. Guest performers and highly-skilled dancers grace the stage, often choreographed by some of the most elite and famous choreographers from around the globe.
Thuringia Bach Festival (April – May), Thuringia
The Thüringer Bachwochen (Thuringia Bach weeks) is a Baroque music festival in honor of Johann Sebastian Bach. It is the largest classical music festival in Thuringia, Germany. The artistic director since 2004 has been the Erfurt Cathedral organist Silvius von Kessel. The festival includes a wide variety of concerts during the festival; solo organ concerts, sung by professional choruses from all around German. Concerts are held at some of the most beautiful and ornate churches in all of Germany.
Berlin International Film Festival (February), Berlin
The Berlin International Film Festival (German: Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin), usually called the Berlinale, is a film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. It is one of the most famous festivals in Germany. The festival is famous for its showcase of experimental cinema. You may even be able to catch sight of your favorite celebrities at Berlinale.
With around 300,000 tickets sold and 500,000 admissions each year, it has the largest public attendance of any annual film festival. Up to 400 films are shown in several sections across cinematic genres. Around twenty films compete for the festival's top awards, called the Golden Bear and several Silver Bears
International Dixieland Festival (Mid-May), Dresden
Internationales Dixieland Festival Dresden is a jazz festival in Germany. For eight days and seven nights, the capital of Saxony becomes Swingin' Dresden and draws up to around half a million jazz fans to the city. Patrons enjoy catching the Dixie Parade and watching street performers. Performers from all around the world such as German riverboat tours. This festival offers concert versions of songs played by solo musicians, and performances for children.
Wurstmarkt (July-August), Bad Durkheim
The Wurstmarkt in the spa town of Bad Dürkheim, in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany is the world's biggest wine festival with over 600,000 visitors each year. It's a fair-like event with hundreds of food stalls, carnival rides, fireworks displays, and wine halls. The festival celebrates Germany's two most popular exports- Wine and Sausages.
Rock am Ring and Rock im Park (June), Nuremburg
Rock Im Park and Rock am Ring are the largest music festivals held in Germany and one of the largest in the world with a combined attendance of over 150,000 people in 2007, selling out both events in advance for the first time. The largest music festival gives fans to enjoy the music of every genre and from every artist around the corner of the world. These festivals take place simultaneously over three days in both Nürberg and Nuremberg.
Rhein in Flammen (May – September), Koblenz
Rhein in Flammen (English: "The Rhine in Flames") is the name of five different firework displays along the river Rhine in Germany. The displays take place annually, at various locations along the river. On the five different dates, brightly illuminated ships sail the river in an evening convoy for their passengers to see the full firework display at each location of the river. The Rhein in Flammen sees music concerts, food and wine events in Bonn, Koblenz, Oberwesel, St. Goarshausen, and Rüdesheim.
Oktoberfest (September – October), Munich
The Oktoberfest is the world's largest Volksfest, featuring a beer festival and a traveling funfair. It is held annually in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. It is a 16- to 18-day folk festival running from mid- or late-September to around the first Sunday in October, with more than six million international and national visitors attending the event. Oktoberfest attracts millions to the city to enjoy Bavarian beer food, live bands, parades, tasty pretzels to German sausages. People get to see concerts, accordion competitions, craft and ware vendors, traditional folk dancing, and German music.
Weihnachtsmarkts/Christmas Markets (December), Berlin
Traditionally held in the town square, the market offers food, drink, and seasonal items for sale from open-air stalls, accompanied by traditional singing and dancing. A bright Ferris wheel and some cheery hot mulled wine are just the things to get you into the holiday spirit. These Christmas markets have become so popular that other countries have started celebrating their own Christmas markets annually.
Now, you have no excuse not to attend one of these German festivals! Just make sure that you’re familiar with the language and culture, at least on a basic level.
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