Germany Holidays, Events, Climate and Sightseeing

Germany: Holidays

January 1st

January 1st – the first day of the new year – is a public holiday in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and numerous other countries. It should be noted that Samoa is the first country where the New Year began

Holy Three Kings

The day of the “Three Kings” – also known as Epiphany – is January 6th. Balthasar, Caspar and Melchior are considered to be the “Three Kings”. According to the Christmas story of the Gospel of Matthew, they are said to have been three wise men from the East who were led through the star of Bethlehem to the birthplace of Jesus in the stable of Bethlehem. Later the “three wise men” became three kings.

In Germany, Epiphany is only a public holiday in Bavaria, in Baden-Württemberg and Saxony-Anhalt.

Furthermore, the day is in Finland, Italy, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Austria, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, the Czech Republic as well as a public holiday in the Swiss cantons Schwyz, Ticino and Uri and in some communities in Graubünden.

In Poland, Epiphany has only been a public holiday since 2011.

Women’s Shrovetide

Weiberfastnacht is celebrated on the Thursday before Rose Monday.

The tradition of the Weiberfastnacht has its origin

in 1824 in what was then Beuel – today a district of Bonn. This year, following the example of the men, the laundresses formed a women’s committee and took power in the town halls on the Thursday before Carnival. This tradition has not only been maintained in numerous cities, it has even expanded.

At that time there were numerous laundries in Beuel that washed laundry on the Rhine meadows – especially for Cologne hotels. It should be mentioned that simple women who were married at the time were called “Möhnen”.

The Thursday before Carnival was chosen based on the “Dirty Thursday”. The word dirty did not come from unclean or dirty, but from the Alemannic term “Schmotz = fat. This day was the last day of a slaughter before Lent. A nice explanation!

From 1958 there was also a lingerie princess. And the custom of cutting ties did not begin until the 1950s through the secretaries in the ministries of what was then the federal capital of Bonn.

The Cologne street carnival begins in Cologne with Weiberfastnacht. In addition, there is an open-air meeting on the Heumarkt on the Thursday before Shrove Monday, in which the triumvirate appears and the key to the city is handed over to the prince.

Carnival Monday

The date of Rose Monday is not a fixed day, but depends on the date of Easter. Rose Monday is 42 days before Easter Saturday.

The Rose Monday parade is the absolute highlight of every carnival season. The moves in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz are particularly well known. The Cologne train is the largest Rose Monday procession in Germany and is approximately 7.5 km long. About 150 tons of sweets are thrown into the crowd from the numerous moving trucks and then eagerly collected by the spectators.

As a rule, over a million people line the train – that’s roughly the size of Cologne’s population. Politicians and other people from contemporary history are played around as figures on the wagons. It should be mentioned that the first organized Rose Monday procession took place in 1823.

Ash Wednesday, Lent

The date of Ash Wednesday is also based on the date of Easter. Ash Wednesday is 40 days before Easter Saturday – the end of Lent.

The 40-day fasting period following Ash Wednesday is intended to remember the 40 days that Jesus is said to have spent fasting and praying in the desert.

8th of March

March 8th is International Women’s Day.

It was created at the instigation of socialist organizations in the period before the First World War in the struggle for equality, women’s suffrage and the emancipation of women workers. International Women’s Day was first observed on March 19, 1911 and has been celebrated annually on March 8 since 1921. The United Nations later declared it to be United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and World Peace. March 8th has been a public holiday in Berlin since 2019

Maundy Thursday

On Maundy Thursday – the Thursday before Easter – Jesus is said to have celebrated the Last Supper with his disciples. In addition, Judas left the group of disciples to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Good Friday

On the night of Good Friday – the Friday before Easter – Jesus was arrested, interrogated and flogged. And the next morning he was sentenced to death on the cross.

On the way to the place of execution, today’s “via dolorosa”, he was mocked and had to carry his own cross to Golgotha. According to tradition, there he was nailed to the cross, where he died.


Easter – the feast of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead – is the highest holiday of the year for Christianity.

The date for Easter goes back to the Council of Nicaea convened by Emperor Constantine in 325. With this a long dispute within Christianity was settled. But the council only decided that all Christians should celebrate Easter together on a Sunday.

The date was not set at that time, as the beginning of spring always fell on another date.

It was not until 200 years later that the monk Dionysius Exigus (470-540) calculated the dates of Easter for the following 90 years.

But only after the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 was the beginning of spring firmly established on March 21st, and thus Easter Sunday could be clearly determined

Unlike Christmas, for example, Easter is not a fixed day of the year, but is celebrated in the western church on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the beginning of spring.

So the earliest date for Easter is March 22nd and the latest April 25th.

But only in 2038 will Easter fall on April 25th.


The former town of Nicäa was located near today’s İznik – around 90 km southeast of Istanbul in Turkey.


marches Easter marches have been held annually at Easter in a number of German cities since the early 1960s.

Its origins go back to British opponents of nuclear weapons in the 1950s.

In Berlin, the Berlin closing event of the Easter March 2016 took place on Oranienplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg. It was a typical Easter march rally.

The speakers and demonstrators turned against German arms deliveries, the US bombing in Syria and the use of drones.

The western war in Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan was also heavily criticized.

The terror in Paris and Brussels or that of the IS in Iraq or Syria, on the other hand, was less discussed.

Walpurgis Night

The Walpurgis Night is celebrated mainly by women on the night before May 1st, the day of Saint Walpurga.

According to old folk beliefs, witches ride brooms that night and meet for the devil cult and dance on the Blocksberg on the Brocken in the Harz Mountains.

1st of May

The first of May is a public holiday as “Labor Day” in Germany, Austria, parts of Switzerland and in many other countries.

The origins of this “workers’ day” go back to a strike movement in the USA, when it called for a general strike on May 1st in early 1886 in the struggle for the eight-hour day – in memory of the demonstration on May 1st, 1856 in Australia, where back then an eight-hour day was required.

Attempts to fix May 1st as a public holiday in Germany after World War I failed because of the political right. Strangely enough, it became a public holiday under the National Socialists as early as 1933. From 1934, the rulers made the day the “National Holiday of the German People” and celebrated it with national pathos.

After the Second World War, the Allied Control Council approved the day as Labor Day in 1946 – albeit with a restricted permission to demonstrate.

Folk song

But May is more than just May 1st – it is the month of the awakening and blossoming of nature and the month of lovers – in short, the “happy month”.

The following song was composed by Christian Adolf Overbeck (1755-1821) from Lübeck in 1775 and set to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) in 1791:

  1. Come, dear May, and makethe trees green again

    and let

    the little violets bloom for me by the brook !

    How I would so much like to see

    a violet again,

    oh, dear May, how I would love to go for a


  2. It is true that winter days also have alot of joys:

    you can trot in the snow

    and play some evening games,

    build little houses with cards,

    play blind man’s cow and deposit,

    there are also sleigh rides

    on the lovely open country

  3. But when the birds are singingand we

    jump happily and quickly on the green lawn,

    that is a different matter!

    Now my hobbyhorse has

    to stand there in the corner,

    because outside in the little garden

    you can’t walk because of the dirt.

  4. But most ofall, Lottchen’s heartache lasts,

    the poor girl is

    right in wait for the flower season.

    I bring her little game

    for free to

    pass the time, she sits in her little chair

    like a chicken from an egg.

  5. Oh, if only it were milderand greener outside!

    come, dear May, we children,

    we ask too much!

    Oh come and above all bring

    us many violets, also

    bring many nightingales

    and beautiful cuckoos.

Ascension Day, Father’s Day

According to Christian belief, the ascension of Christ is the day of Jesus’ return as Son of God to his Father in heaven.

This feast day is 39 days after Easter Sunday and therefore always falls on a Thursday. The earliest possible date, depending on Easter, is April 30th – the latest is June 3rd.

Many people use the following Friday as a “bridging day” to have four days off without having to take vacation days. The feast day is also known as Father’s Day, Men’s Day or Men’s Day. On this day, numerous men in decorated and mostly open wagons with lots of beer and other alcoholic drinks take part in a so-called men’s day party.

Ascension Day has been a public holiday in Germany since 1936. On this day, the International Charlemagne Prize, which has existed since 1988, is awarded in the cathedral in Aachen.

In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, the hard way, is called the “entrance”.


Pentecost is 50 days after Easter and is considered the third main Christian festival after Christmas and Easter. The name Pentecost is derived from the Greek word pentekosté, the fiftieth, and has been celebrated since the end of the fourth century. It was originally a Jewish harvest festival

Before Pentecost and Ascension Day were celebrated together. At Pentecost the coming of the Holy Spirit is celebrated, who, according to biblical testimony, sat down like tongues of fire on the disciples of Jesus, whereupon they all began to speak and preach in many foreign languages. This is understood as an indication of the missionary mandate of the Christian church and its worldwide significance.

Historically, Pentecost is also a spring festival. For example, before the coming summer hall rides, horse processions or border inspections are celebrated. The summer sowing is also often blessed.

The decorated Pentecostal oxen are also known – for example in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

In Austria and in parts of southern Germany, the so-called “Night of Rest” is celebrated on the night before Pentecost Sunday. Originally intended to drive away evil spirits, nowadays people are played tricks and all sorts of jokes.

Corpus Christi

The feast of Corpus Christi is a feast of the Catholic Church with which the bodily presence of Jesus Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist is celebrated. The term “Corpus Christi” comes from Middle High German: “vrône lîcham” = the Lord’s body.

This church festival is celebrated on the Thursday after the Holy Trinity – that is, on the 60th day after Easter Sunday. The earliest date of the festival would be May 21st and June 24th the latest.

The festival was celebrated for the first time on June 15, 1279. According to the old custom, solemn processions take place. Corpus Christi is in Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate the Saarland and in some Catholic communities of Thuringia a public holiday..

Assumption Day

The Assumption of Mary is celebrated on August 15th and is a public holiday in Saarland and in the municipalities of Bavaria with a predominantly Catholic population

Unity Day, Thanksgiving Day

Unity Day

October 3rd is a public holiday in Germany. On this day in 1990, the GDR joined the Federal Republic of Germany.


Day The Thanksgiving Day is a Christian celebration of thanksgiving to God for nature’s gifts of the year. It usually takes place in a church, but there are also regions where procession takes place. The parishioners often bring fruit, grain and fruit, but also flour, bread, honey or wine and other gifts to the church on the occasion of the festival of thanksgiving.

In Germany, the festival is now celebrated on the first Sunday in October. The gifts brought with them are often distributed to people in need or to charitable institutions after the festival.

Halloween, Reformation Day


Halloween takes place on October 31st, one day before All Saints’ Day. In the evening, most of the young people and children go around dressed up and often with creepy masks. Often they also move to the homes around them to receive small gifts. The following saying is popular: “Give us something sweet, otherwise there will be a treat”

Originally this tradition comes from Ireland, from where it was brought to the USA by Irish immigrants. From the USA, Halloween began its triumphal march to Europe since the 1990s. The custom has now become firmly established here.

Reformation Day Reformation

Day is celebrated on October 31st and commemorates the 95 theses that Martin Luther had put up on October 31, 1517 at the castle church in Wittenberg. The day is a public holiday in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia

All Saints Day

All Saints’ Day is a Catholic holiday.

Until about the 9th century AD. there was a separate holiday for each saint. But the number of saints kept increasing, so that not even all days of the year were enough as a holiday for all saints. Therefore, a day was introduced for the devotion of all saints. It is November 1st now. However, nowadays not only the saints are remembered, but also the deceased, who may also be holy before God. In the Catholic regions of Germany – such as Bavaria – November 1st is a public holiday.

All Souls

The Catholic holiday of All Souls Day is celebrated on November 2nd. The day serves the Catholics in memory of the deceased.

With the help of prayers and mild gifts, the suffering of the deceased in purgatory (poor souls) should be relieved.

Martin’s Day

Martin’s Day is celebrated in the Catholic regions of Germany, Austria, Switzerland as well as in South Tyrol and Upper Silesia on November 11th and serves in memory of Saint Martin of Tours (316-397), who was Bishop of 397 from 372 until his death in 397 Tours was.

The city of Tours is located in the French department of Indre-et-Loire in the Center region.

Usually there is a procession on the evening of that day, during which people – especially children – carry lanterns. A rider dressed in a red robe rides a white horse ahead of the train. The rider is dressed as a Roman soldier, as Martin was among other things as a soldier in the bodyguard of Emperor Constantine.

St. Martin is particularly famous for the fact that – according to legend – he should have donated half of his cloak to a beggar.

A goose, the St. Martin’s goose, likes to be put on the table on St.

With Martinssingen, the children and young people move from house to house after moving to ask for small gifts with the help of a Martinsong .

It should be mentioned that Martin is the patron saint of France, Slovakia and the Catholic Eichsfeld.

Legend of St.

Martin’s Goose According to the will of the people, but against the clergy, Martin was ordained Bishop of Tours. But he did not consider himself worthy to take over the office and therefore hid in a goose pen. There he was discovered because of the excited chattering of the animals and was asked to help an allegedly sick woman using a little ruse. He complied with the request and, despite his reservations, became the 3rd Bishop of Tours.


There are some Martinslieder. The poet and composer of the following song are unfortunately unknown:

Saint Martin, Saint Martin,

Saint Martin rode through snow and wind,

his horse that carried him away quickly.

Saint Martin rode with easy courage,

his coat covering him warmly and well.

Sankt Martin, Sankt Martin,

in the snow, there sat a poor man,

didn’t have clothes on, had rags on.

“Oh help me in my need,

otherwise the bitter frost will be my death!”

Sankt Martin, Sankt Martin,

Sankt Martin pulled the reins,

his horse stood still with the poor man.

Saint Martin with the sword shares

the warm cloak without lingering.

Sankt Martin, Sankt Martin,

Sankt Martin silenced half;

the beggar would like to thank him.

But Saint Martin rode

away with his coat in a hurry.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

The Memorial Day is the second Sunday in November, on which the war dead and the victims of the tyranny of all nations are remembered. This date was set in 1952 for the Federal Republic of Germany and is celebrated annually in the presence of the Federal President with a celebration in the German Bundestag. The war dead were commemorated as early as 1922 – 5 Sundays before Easter.

Under the National Socialists, the day was rededicated to a heroes’ memorial day and in 1939 it was set to March 16 – if this is a Sunday, otherwise it was the Sunday before March 16.

Day of Prayer and Repentance

The day of penance and prayer is a holiday of the Protestant Church that goes back to times of need. The day should be a day of repentance for sins and injustices committed and serve the turning towards God.

This day has happened on different dates over the centuries. Nowadays it is celebrated on the Wednesday before Eternal Sunday – the last Sunday of the Protestant church year – so always on the Wednesday before November 23rd.

Since 1994, the Day of Repentance and Prayer has only been a public holiday in the state of Saxony.

Dead Sunday

The Sunday of the Dead was by the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. (1770-1840) introduced in 1816 when he ordered that the dead be commemorated on that last Sunday in November – before the end of the church year.

On this day, people visit the graves of their dead relatives or friends to remember them and to decorate the graves. Often (grave) lights are lit as well.

Advent Season


The term Advent is derived from the Latin verb “advenire = to arrive, to appear”. It is the time when Christians prepare for the birth of Jesus, that is, for Christmas.

The new church year also begins on the first Sunday in Advent.

The fourth Sunday in Advent is the last Sunday in Advent before December 24th. December 24th – Christmas Eve – can coincide with the fourth Sunday in Advent – for example in 2017.

The Advent season in its current form goes back to the 7th century, although originally there were between four and six Advend Sundays in the Roman church. Under Pope Gregory the Great (540-604) the number was set to the current number and confirmed by the Council of Trent (between 1545-1563). A binding regulation under canon law then followed in 1570 by Pope Pius V (1504-1572).

Advent wreath

Many people set up an Advent wreath decorated with four lights (mostly candles) during Advent. One light is lit on the first Advent, a second on the second, the third on the third, and then the fourth on the fourth. The Advent wreath originally came from the Protestant pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern, who introduced it in 1837. At first it was decorated with 20 candles. But the custom did not gain acceptance in the Protestant regions until the 1920s and among Catholics only after the Second World War.

Advent calendar

The custom of the advent calendar goes back to 1850 – it appeared in print in Munich in 1908

St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas’ Day has been celebrated on December 6th every year since the 15th century. In our Christian culture, the custom has established that the children put their shoes in front of the door on the evening before St. In contrast to Santa Claus, who represents a fictional character, there was a historical person to whom the St. Nicholas Festival goes back.

It is Saint Nicholas who was bishop in Myra – today’s Demre in Lycia in Turkey. Visitors to the city will find the Nikolaus Church with remains from the 5th century, which has almost disappeared under the surface of the earth. The bishop was buried here in what was then the martyrs’ cemetery and the church was built around his coffin. Nicholas was probably born around 270 in Patora, which was west of Myra. He is said to have been ordained a priest at the age of 19 and come to Myra. The information about the year of his death ranges from 325 to 365. In 1087 his remains were removed from the coffin in Myra by southern Italian merchants before the Seljuks took the city and brought them to Bari in Italy. One of his thighs also ended up in Friborg in Switzerland.

If Santa Claus appears “personally”, his appearance with the bishop’s cap and the bishop’s staff is otherwise a bit like that of Santa Claus. He is accompanied by “Knecht Ruprecht”, who appears in a brown or black habit – with a rod in his hand and presents in his backpack.

In German-speaking countries, St. Nicholas Day is not a public holiday. The St. Nicholas custom goes back to the year 1300. Luther condemned this custom and demanded that only the Christ Child be celebrated.

Poem by Theodor Storm

The following “poem” by Theodor Storm (1817-1888) from 1862 is probably known to many people – at least the first lines. It should be mentioned that in the original text Rupprecht was written:


Good evening, old and young are

well known to everyone.

I come from outside the forest;

I have to tell you it’s very Christmas!

Everywhere on the pine tops

I saw golden lights sitting;

and from above through the gate of heaven

the Christ Child looked with wide eyes.

and as I strolled through the dark fir tree,

it called me in a clear voice:

Servant Ruprecht, cried old

fellow, lift your legs and hurry up!

The candles begin to burn,

the gate of heaven is open,

old and young should now

rest from the hunt for life;

and tomorrow I’ll fly down to earth,

because it should be christmas again!

So go from house to house quickly.

choose the good children for me,

so that I can remember them

with beautiful things and give them gifts.

I said: O dear Lord Christ,

My journey is almost over.

I am only supposed to go to this town,

where it has good children.

Do you have the sack with you too?

I said: This little sack is here,


pious children like to eat apples, nuts and almonds.

Do you have the rod with you too?

I said: the rod is here.

But for the children, only the bad ones,

she hits the right part.

Little Christ child said: It is right.

So go with God, my faithful servant!

I come from outside, from the forest,

I have to tell you it’s very Christmas!

Now say how I find it in here:

are they good children, are they bad children?


The little children are probably all good,

only occasionally have defiant courage.


Eh, ei,

my long rod is good for defiant child courage !

Don’t you sometimes say:

Down your head and your pants?


As one sins, he is punished;

the children are all good.


Do you stick your nose in your book,

read and write and do enough arithmetic?


You learn with your little strength,

we hope to God that it finally makes it.

Ruprecht Do you pray your evening verses in bed

according to the old custom


Father The

other day I heard

a little voice speaking alone in my room;

and when I came to the door

, I heard them pray for all loved ones.


So take Christkindin’s greeting,

cake and apples, apples and nuts;

try some of his gifts

tomorrow you should have something better.

Then the little

Christ Child himself comes in with his candlelight.

Today it still keeps watch in heaven;

now sleep gently, have a good night.


Christmas is celebrated with numerous customs all over the world like hardly any other festival. It is based on the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, the founder of Christianity. There are many legends and stories about this birth, not all of which can be found in the Bible. Since the exact date of the birth of Jesus is or was not known, the Catholic Churches had set it for December 25th.

In the Catholic Church, the virginity of Mary, who learned of her pregnancy through an angel sent by God, is particularly emphasized.

The “Christmas Eve” is on December 24th. But Americans, for example, celebrate Christmas on December 25th.

The Christmas tree, which today is an indispensable part of Christmas, is a relatively young custom that first became fashionable in the cities in the 18th century and gradually spread in the villages.

The tradition of the Christmas crib did not emerge until the 16th century, when it was initially set up in large monasteries. Their origins, however, go back to St. Francis of Assisi (around 1181-1226), who saw the ox and the donkey as symbols for the other two world religions, i.e. Islam and Judaism.

The tradition of Christmas presents goes back to St. Nicholas, who was a benefactor of the poor. Today they should remember the joy of the birth of Jesus Christ and the gift that God has given people with it.

The figure of Santa Claus goes back to the 18th century, but only finally gained acceptance in Europe in the course of the 20th century. Santa Claus or the Christ Child appear differently from region to region. But in the end it was Martin Luther who moved Nicholas to December 24th/25th/December because he considered the veneration of saints to be a sacrilege and the birth of Christ is celebrated on December 24th.

And, of course, the worship of Christ was perfectly legitimate in his eyes.


One of the most beautiful Christmas songs composed in 1535 Martin Luther for his children. In 1539 he set the work to music. Of the total of 15 stanzas, here are the first two:

  1. Up from heaven, there I come from.I’ll bring you good new tales,

    I bring so much to the good tale,

    Of which I want to sing and say.

  2. A child is born to you todayfrom a virgin,

    a child, so tender and delicate, that

    should be your joy and delight.

Christmas story

The following Christmas story comes from the Gospel of Luke (Luke, chapter 2) and forms one of the pillars of the Christian faith:

“But it came to

pass at the time that a command went out from the Emperor Augustus that all the world should be valued. And this valuation was the very first, and it came about at the time when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.

And everyone went that he himself Everyone in his city should be valued.

And Joseph also set out from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into the Jewish land, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,

that he might be Let Mary, his trusted wife, be cherished,

and she conceived, and when they were there, the time came when she was to give birth.

And she gave birth to her first son, and swaddled him and put him in a manger; for otherwise they had no room in the inn.

And there were shepherds in the same region in the field with the folds, keeping their flock by night.

And, behold, the angel of the LORD came to them, and the glory of the LORD shone around them; and they were very afraid.

And the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. behold, I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people;

for to you today is born the Savior, who is the Christ the Lord, in the city of David.

And that is a sign: you will find the child wrapped in diapers and lying in a crib.

And immediately there was with the angel the multitude of the heavenly hosts, who praised God and said,

Glory to God on high, and peace on earth, and a pleasure to men. Another translation according to a better attested reading: “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth with the people of his good pleasure.”

Advent wreath

The Advent wreath was made in 1839 by the Protestant pastor Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881) from Hamburg. However, he initially owned one small and four large candles for Sundays for each day of the week through Christmas. Children could read the time until the presents were given. Since around 1860, on today’s round wreath with the four lights made of fir branches, an additional light has been lit every Advent Sunday.

Giving presents

The custom of giving presents to children used to only exist on St. Nicholas’ Day, the anniversary of the death of St. Nicholas, which goes back to Bishop Nicholas of Myra – located in what is now Turkey. Martin Luther was the first to speak out in favor of moving the gifts to Christmas. Luther rejected the veneration of saints and wanted to emphasize the importance of Christmas.


With its shape and appearance, the Christstollen should symbolize the Christ child wrapped in diapers. So that the aroma of a freshly baked Christmas stollen can develop properly, the cake is left to rest for a few days in a cool place, often it was stollen in a mine.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is the last day of the year, i.e. December 31st. In the meantime, it is usually only understood to mean the night from December 31st to January 1st of the following year.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated almost everywhere during the transition into the New Year with fireworks and often at larger parties. Hundreds of thousands come together in Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate and Strasse des 17. Juni to celebrate the New Year. The huge fireworks display in the Bay of Sydney in Australia is famous.

The traditional New Year’s Eve meal is carp and the New Year is usually welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine at midnight.

The name New Year’s Eve goes back to the year 1582, when the last day of the year was moved from December 24th to December 31st as a result of the “Gregorian calendar reform”. Since this was the anniversary of the death of Pope Silvester I (335), this name was used – in addition, according to the “liturgical calendar”, this day has also been his name day since 813. The date of birth of New Year’s Eve = the forest man (Lat. Silva = forest, tree) is unknown. He was ordained a priest in 284 and Bishop of Rome in 314 – making him Pope.

The first country where the new year starts is Samoa.


New Year On December 31st, many people wish them a Happy New Year! The wish probably comes from the Hebrew – Rosh Hashanah = beginning of the year.

However, some linguists derive this New Year’s Eve wish from the old German word “Rutsch” for “travel”.

Source: Countryaah – Germany Holidays

Cultural events, folk festivals

  • Oktoberfest in Munich, folk festival lasting several days
  • Passion plays in Oberammergau: These plays about the Passion of Christ go back to a vow made in 1633 and take place every 10 years. The first performance was in 1634. The last performance so far was in 2010, which premiered on May 15. You can find a detailed description under Passion Play.
  • Tree blossom festival in Werder/Havel. This folk festival, originally intended as a wine festival, takes place every year in Werder an der Havel near Berlin. It is the second largest folk festival in Germany after the Munich Oktoberfest. The beginnings of the festival go back to 1879. In 2006, it was celebrated from April 29th to May 7th and was attended by over half a million people.
  • Hamburger Dom, a festival lasting several days
  • Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival: since 1986 every year in several places in Schleswig-Holstein; one of the largest music festivals in the world
  • Störtebeker Festival in Ralswiek on Rügen, a festival lasting several days at a natural height by and in the water
  • Singing Festival in Finsterwalde in the state of Brandenburg “We are the singers from Finsterwalde”
  • Love Parade in Berlin, an annual techno spectacle since 1989; initiated by Dr. Moth (Matthias Roeingh)
  • Christopher Street Day (CSD) in Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and other cities; Festival, commemoration and demonstration day for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals and their supporters
  • Long night of museums in Berlin and many other cities
  • Wagner Festival in Bayreuth
  • International film festival (Berlinale) in Berlin, annual A-category film festival since 1951
  • International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen
  • Ruhr Festival in Recklinghausen
  • Weimar Art Days with theater, dance, music and exhibitions
  • Music festival in Schleswig Holstein
  • Karl May Festival in Bad Segeberg
  • Carnival and Mardi Gras, especially Weiberfastnacht (Thursday) to Rose Monday. The highlight is the Rose Monday parades on Rose Monday. The date depends on the location of Easter. Carnival and Fastnacht are mainly celebrated in the Rhineland, Rhineland-Palatinate (Mainz) and Munich.
  • Carnival of Cultures in early summer in Berlin, large multicultural costume party with large parades
  • Cannstätter (Stuttgart) Wasen (Wasen von Wiesen), a multi-day festival
  • Trier Antiquities Festival, annually in June and July; Established in 1998 by Heinz Lukas-Kindermann, then director of the Trier City Theater; Works are shown whose content is based on ancient fabrics.
  • Nuremberg Christkindlmarkt, one of the oldest and best-known Christmas markets in Germany, from the Friday before the first Advent until December 24th; took place in the Middle Ages.

Germany: climate, diplomats, infections

Germany lies in the temperate climate zone with warm summers and cold winters. In summer the average temperatures are 25-30 degrees, with the average maximum temperatures being reached in July. In winter, the average temperatures are 0 to minus 5 degrees. The mean minimum temperatures are reached in January. Long-lasting cold spells with snow and frost are rare except in the Alps. Precipitation occurs all year round. The least rainfall is in parts of Rheinhessen, most in the Alps, in the Black Forest, in the Upper Bavarian Forest and in the Hochsauerland. Overall, the climate in northern Germany is more changeable than in the south.

Travel times

The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on various factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people planning a beach holiday. Health status and age can also play a role in the experience of the climate.

People who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any complaints are especially recommended to stay in Germany in summer, especially the months of June up to and including August.

People who prefer a moderate climate and lower temperatures should better use spring or autumn to stay in Germany, especially the months of April and May or September and October. A holiday in the Alps is worthwhile in both summer and winter.

Diplomatic rights

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers or e-mail addresses of the German representations in other countries as well as the foreign representations in Germany can be obtained from the Foreign Office at the following address:

Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany

Werderscher Markt 1

10117 Berlin

Tel: 0049 – (0) 30 – 50 00 28 58


Representations in Germany, legal basis

Almost all countries have embassies, consulates general, consulates or at least honorary consulates as well as various tourist offices in Germany, especially in Berlin. Information about the representation of a certain country can be obtained from the Foreign Office. It should also be noted that all federal states have a state representative in Berlin. Their size and architecture often exceed that of the embassies of other countries.


Diplamates working abroad who are identified by a diplomatic passport enjoy absolute immunity in the country in which they are working as a dipolamate. So you are protected from criminal prosecution – even in the case of serious crimes. This also applies to the prosecution of regulatory violations, such as B. when doing the wrong thing, driving too fast or crossing red traffic lights. The offices of the missions and the private apartments may only be entered with the permission of the persons concerned.

This privilege is based on a practice that has been exercised between states for centuries – as so-called customary international law. It was made binding on April 18, 1961 in the “Vienna Agreement on Diplomatic Relations”.

The immunity of diplomats, diplomatic missions and private households was regulated in Articles 30 and 31:

Article 30

(1) The diplomat’s private residence shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission.

(2) His papers, his correspondence and – subject to Article 31 Paragraph 3 – his property are also inviolable.

Article 31

(1) The diplomat shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He is also entitled to immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction; The following cases are excluded from this:

a) Actions in rem in relation to private immovable property located in the territory of the receiving state, unless the diplomat has this in possession on behalf of the sending state for the purposes of the mission;

b) Prosecution proceedings in which the diplomat is involved as executor, administrator, heir or legatee in a private capacity and not as a representative of the sending State;

c) Actions in connection with a liberal profession or a commercial activity which the diplomat carries out in the receiving state in addition to his official activity.

(2) The diplomat is not obliged to testify as a witness.

(3) Enforcement measures may only be taken against a diplomat in the cases provided for in paragraph 1 letters a, b and c and only provided that they can be carried out without impairing the inviolability of his person or his home.

(4) The diplomat’s immunity from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State.

Germany, entry and exit regulations

Formalities, visas

Citizens of the EU can enter with an identity card. A passport is sufficient for citizens of many other countries. But a number of countries also require a visa. Due to the Schengen Agreement, there are no regular border controls at the borders with the EU.

Import and export of foreign currency

Without a declaration, only around € 15,000 may be imported or exported, even by German citizens. Higher sums have to be stated and their origin has to be proven if necessary.

Import and export of goods

All goods for personal use may be imported and exported from EU countries. The importation of weapons, ammunition, explosives and drugs is strictly prohibited. Furthermore, the import and export of plants and animals that are protected under the Washington Convention on Endangered Species are strictly prohibited. The following applies:


duty-free, up to 10 liters of spirits, 20 liters of liqueur or vermouth, 90 liters of wine or 110 liters of beer can be imported from EU countries. When entering from non-EU countries, only up to 1 l of spirits are duty-free and for drinks with less than 22 alcohol volume percent up to 2 l are duty-free.


When entering from a member state of the EU, 10 kg of coffee can be imported duty-free. When entering from a non-EU country, it is only 0.5 kg or 200 g of soluble coffee.

Tobacco products

When entering from an old member state of the EU as well as from Malta and Cyprus, 800 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars or 1 kg of tobacco can be imported duty-free. When entering from one of the new EU countries or from non-EU countries, there are usually only 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars or 250 g tobacco.


When entering from an EU country, there are no restrictions on taking with you on entry. When entering from a non-EU country, only a maximum of 50 g and 0.25 l eau de toilette can be imported duty-free.


When entering from an EU country, 20 l of fuel in canisters may be imported duty-free in addition to the tank content. When entering from a non-EU country, it is only a maximum of 10 l.


For reasons of disease protection, no meat or milk may be imported from non-EU countries without a veterinary check. Exceptions to this apply to Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, among others.


The amount of vitamin preparations, aspirin, nutritional supplements or mineral preparations must not exceed that for personal use. The same goes for prescription drugs. In the event of a violation, confiscation is to be expected.


Counterfeit goods such as clothing, bags, works of art or jewelry may be imported for personal use. In all other cases, confiscation and possibly the initiation of criminal proceedings can be expected.

Others were

When entering from non-EU countries, goods for personal use up to a value of € 175 can be imported duty-free.

Infectious diseases and warnings

In the event of accidents, acts of violence or illness, good medical care is often life-saving, but at least it is of crucial importance for the course of the disease and the subsequent prognosis.

Infectious Diseases

In Germany – in addition to the frequent flu-like infections, the following infectious diseases are to be expected:

  • AIDS, HIV (a rather low risk of infection)
  • Lyme disease, transmitted by ticks
  • Various venereal diseases (gonorrhea (gonorrhea) or syphilis)
  • Early summer meningo encephalitis (FMSE), transmitted by ticks
  • Fox tapeworm
  • Hepatitis (A, B, C)
  • Childhood diseases (measles, whooping cough, mumps, rubella, etc.)
  • Pneumonia
  • meningitis
  • Salmonella infection
  • tetanus
  • tuberculosis

Vaccination recommendations The following vaccinations are recommended for visitors, but also for people living in Germany, most of them being vaccinated as early as childhood:

  • tetanus
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • diphtheria
  • HIB type b (Haemophilus influenzae)
  • whooping cough
  • measles
  • mumps
  • Miningococcal vaccination
  • Poliomyelitis (polio)
  • rubella
  • chickenpox


Germany has a very low crime rate for certain offenses. The murder rate, i.e. murders per 100,000 residents, is around 1, that of murder and manslaughter combined is a little more than 3. This puts Germany among the lowest in Europe. According to a publication by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), there were 405 murder victims in Germany in 2017.

Police uniforms in Germany

In principle, police matters are a matter for the 16 individual federal states. But there is, for example, the blue uniformed federal police, which, among other tasks, is supposed to ensure the safety of the Deutsche Bahn. Since even the Germans themselves often do not see through the police uniform color, it should be mentioned that the police are now blue in all other 16 federal states. This was decided by the interior ministers of the federal states in 1998 in order to adapt the colors to European standards.

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