The Best Festivals and Events in Germany to Look Forward To
Fun Fair, Düsseldorf | © MichelGaida / Pixabay
No matter which time of the year you visit Germany, you are bound to find yourself in the midst of a merry, colorful festival or celebration. These are not only loads of fun, but let you experience the true spirit of the country with locals. From fashion to fairs, from carnivals to cultural celebrations, here are the best events in Germany everyone looks forward to.
Carnival in Germany is not just a celebration. In fact, it is such a humongous affair that it is referred to as the Fifth Season. Carnival season in Germany kickstarts on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year (November 11) at exactly 11.11am, making way for grand celebrations over several days in the following February. The Carnival is called by different names across regions, and each part of the country adds its own special rituals and quirks to the celebrations. But in general, Carnival means crazy costumes, war cries, long parades and artistic (often satirical) floats.
Carnival costume in Germany © Efraimstochter / Pixabay
Spring Festival, Munich
Munich welcomes spring in style with the two-week long extravaganza in April-May named Spring Festival. Thousands of fun-seekers are drawn to the festival by over 100 rides, delicious food and groovy live music. The fair ground (at Theresienwiese) welcomes visitors from 11 am to 11 pm.
Carnival of Cultures, Berlin
Berlin is a melting pot of cultures and this diversity is celebrated every June at the four-day long Carnival of Cultures (Karneval der Kulturen). This street festival brings together the very best in dance, music, handicrafts, art and cuisine of various nationalities and cultures. Thousands of people attend the parades and concerts during this festival. The main parade starts from Hermannplatz Square at noon.
Carnival of Cultures parade, Berlin © MyName (Panic) / Wikimedia Commons
Fun Fair, Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf hosts the Biggest Fun Fair on the Rhine every summer. People from all over Europe arrive in town to take part in this 700-year-old, 10-day extravaganza. The highlight of the fair is the Historic Procession, consisting of thousands of people in costumes marching down the streets with the accompaniment of music. The Fun Fair promises lots of rides, great food and games.
Fun Fair, Düsseldorf © MichelGaida / Pixabay
Sea Festival, Kiel
Kiel Week (Kieler Woche) is the most popular sailing event in the world and a superb summer festival attended by millions of spectators from all over the world. Over nine days every June, over 2000 events are held. This includes a parade of thousands of ships, yachts, boats and other flotation devices down the Kiel Fjord. This spectacle can be best witnessed from the watersides, the beaches (Heikendorf and Kitzeberg) and the Holtenau Lighthouse. Alongside, a parade of vintage automobiles and music concerts are also held.
Berlin Fashion Week
The glitzy and glamorous Berlin Fashion Week brings together fashion experts, media professionals, stylists, designers, models and spectators from all over Europe twice a year (July and January). During the Fashion Week, several events are held across Germany’s capital city, including at STATION Berlin (Luckenwalder Str 4-6), Berlin ExpoCenter (ExpoCenter City, Jafféstraße) and the Brandenburg Gate.
Berlin Fashion Week © Patrick Raczek / WikiCommons
Oktoberfest, the biggest, baddest and craziest beer festival in the world, is held in Munich every September-October. The festival kicks off with a massive parade in which over 10,000 people in traditional costumes take part. Over 6 million people from all over the world get together to chug millions of gallons of beer, indulge in delicious food, sway to Bavarian folk music and scream aboard fun rides.
Oktoberfest © Bayreuth2009 / WikiCommons
Berlin Light Festival
Berlin Light Festival sees the famous monuments of the city – like Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, TV Tower and many more – bathed in jaw-dropping illumination, designed by famous light experts from all over the globe. This festival rolls for 10 days every October, from 7 pm till midnight, and is attended by millions of spectators.
Berlin Cathedral illuminated © Kai_Vogel / Pixabay
Hamburg teaches the rest of the country how to have endless fun. The city boasts four huge fun fairs – Hamburger Dom – every year (spring, summer, autumn, winter), each of which is held over one full month. This festival is a riot of lights and music, rides, food, drinks and spectacular fireworks.
New Year’s Eve Festival, Berlin
Though many scintillating new year celebrations are held across the country, nobody does it like Berlin. The most bombastic street party in Europe is triggered off on the evening of December 30 and keeps getting bigger and crazier, culminating only in the wee hours of 1st January. Over a million people gather at the Brandenburg Gate to enjoy live music, laser shows and spectacular fireworks.
New Year’s Eve in Berlin © Marcel Berkmann / Flickr