Famous all over the world for its sausages, bread, beer, cars, cathedrals, museums, forts, palaces, and autobahn (the federal controlled-access highway system), Germany is also renowned for its myriad of festivals. Therefore, you should you’re your visit in such a manner that you can witness at least one of them. Find below details of some of the best festivals in Germany along with the time of the year in which they are held.
Held in Munich in September every year, Oktoberfest, which started as a royal wedding celebration, is nowadays the world’s largest folk festival. More than seven million people worldwide visit this festival and consume nearly eight million liters of beer and munch thousands of giant pretzels, chickens, grilled sausages, as well as wild oxen.
This festival, which continues for two weeks is held in a meadow, adjacent to the center of the city. Drinking and eating apart, participants also enjoy dancing and drinking, taking part in a wide range of fairground rides as well as colorful parades.
A colorful parade of floats, carriages, and people in a wide range of costumes winding their way through the streets of Munich mark takes place on the opening day of this festival. The first Sunday of the festival witnesses the Costume and Riflemen’s procession. A week later one can witness the huge open-air band concert.
Participants have to wear special dresses: Dirndl for women and Lederhosen for men, available in several shops in the town. Visitors to this festival stay in special tents erected for this occasion. Oktoberfest is not just about beer and boasts of fairground attractions such as Teufelsrad, Skyfall, Krinoline, and Hollenblitz along with shooting galleries and stalls selling candy floss. The 2019 version of this festival starts on 21 September and ends on 6 October.
This two-week-long festival is held in the city of Cologne. It is famous for its fancy evening balls, costumes, and parades. Adults and children dress themselves in ridiculous dresses and take to the streets to participate in the party.
The participants need to dress up like a clown, eat doughnuts, and drink the famous Cologne beer or some Gluhwein (a non-alcoholic drink). Most schools, offices, and shops in Cologne remain closed during the festival. The Rose Monday is the biggest event of this festival when 50 Ford trucks, 67 tractors, as well as 74 decorated floats stroll for nearly three hours through a six-kilometer stretch of downtown Cologne. Participants in the parade toss plush toys, flowers, and sweets to the bystanders. Do not be surprised if you find floats featuring caricatures of European politicians.
Like most popular festivals in Germany, this one too is accompanied by lots of dancing as well as heavy drinking. Weiberfastnacht is a special day in this festival, set apart just for ladies. Held before Ash Wednesday, it figures costumed women gathering in the streets, attacking the men by cutting off their ties and rewarding them with a little kiss for complying. This party begins 40 days prior to Easter.
Countries around the world are known for their famous cuisine. However, this is not the truth with Germany where the cuisine tends to be quite heavy on the basics, consisting of mostly potatoes and meat. Perhaps, this is the reason that this country hosts several traditional festivals dedicated to its staple crops.
Thanks to the long & persisting farmer culture of Germany, one can find special festivals held in different parts of the country to celebrate each significant harvest. Held in Weimar, the Onionfest is among the most popular and largest harvest festival in Germany.
This festival offers you the opportunity to try out dishes based around the vegetables of the moment, purchase the freshest picks of the season, and grab onion themed costumes. Asparagusfest is one more harvest and food-based festival, held in Weimar. Though the theme is similar to the Onionfest, the costumes are asparagus-themed.
If you are not yet satisfied with the taste of onion and asparagus, try this festival, whose theme is the pumpkin. Held in Ludwigsberg, just outside of Stuttgart every fall, it is unarguably the biggest pumpkin festival in the world. More than 450,000 pumpkins are put up for display at this festival, which is equally entertaining for kids as well as for adults.
Visitors can rest assured that they will not be bored at this festival as the market contains something for everyone, which also includes pumpkin food. The pumpkin boat races are among the primary attractions. Individuals carve up giant pumpkins and use them as canoes to race across the pond.
Held in September each year, this festival, held in Bad Durkhiem, is famous for its offering of wine and sausages. It is the largest wine festival in the world, and attracts nearly 600,000 people from all over the country and overseas too. Enjoy tasting famous wines of the region such as Gewurztraminer, Pinot, and Reisling. It consists of both large wine halls to traditional small wine stands. Those interested in an intimate atmosphere can go to the Weindorf, or the wine village, which boasts of some of the best wine products of Germany.
Celebrated on the 3rd of October each year, this festival is the German counterpart of the 4th of July. It is held to commemorate the reunification of West and East Germany after the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989. While this festival is held in all German cities, all of them pale in comparison to the one held in Berlin, the capital of Germany.
Be prepared for exciting events like open-air concerts at the Brandenburg Gate, history and art exhibitions installed throughout the remains of the Berlin Wall. Do not miss the parade that marches through downtown. Nearly 60% of the country’s population make special plans for celebrating this unification day.
Make sure that you book hotel rooms for the best festivals in Germany well in advance, as you will not find any accommodation available if you try to book them just a couple of days before the event. This is particularly true of booking tents for the Oktoberfest.