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Festivals in Germany are known to be among the loudest and largest in the world, with millions flocking together to celebrate the country’s culture, beer, and food. 

“Life is a festival only to the wise.” Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote. Nobody celebrates like the Germans! Germany has a festival for every occasion and every time of year. Festivals in Germany are some of the best and most friendly in the world! Here’s a brief glimpse of Germany’s better-known festivals.

1) Berlin International film festival (Berlinale) (February)

This is the biggest film Festival after Cannes. It has been held since 1978 and draws a crowd of more than 500,000 attendees from all over the world. With more than 400 films screened, the Berlinale showcases the world’s cinematic talent. Tickets to watch a film cost about €12 – a steal compared to other film festivals such as Sundance and Cannes. It takes place at European Film Market, Berlin.

2) Karneval – mid February (late February – early March)

Carnival is the chance to get wild and involves public celebration of parades, costumes, and balls. Almost every German city celebrates the carnival and organizes a street parade in its city center.

The largest and most well-known Carnival in Germany is of Cologne. Its festivities broadcasts on TV across the nation. Other German cities with large Carnival festivals include Düsseldorf, Münster, Aachen, and Mainz.

3) Leipzig Book Fair (late March)

It is the second largest book fair in Germany after the Frankfurt Book Fair. It is of four days at the Leipzig Trade Fairground in Leipzig. It features more than 2,600 events held at 350 different venues. It is a festival of all the book lovers. It provides extensive information about new publications as well as current and future trends in the German speaking and European markets

Pic Credits : https://www.deutschland.de/

4) Munich Ballet Festival (early April)

It is perhaps one of the busiest times of the year for the Bavarian State Ballet. This ballet company and other international companies put on a week’s worth of performances that always succeed in enchanting audiences. Over the last few decades, this event has become one of the most prestigious of its kind, drawing visitors from across Europe and beyond.

Pic Credits : https://cultural-brands.com/

5) Thuringia Bach festival (April – May)

This world-class music festival in Leipzig commemorates the life and work of the city’s most famous resident, Johann Sebastian Bach. Renowned artists like Emma Kirkby and Dorothee Mields perform Bach’s classical masterpieces in historical venues like the Thomaskirche (Thomas Church), where Bach worked as a cantor for 27 years. 

6) Rhein in Flammen (May- September)

It is a series of spectacular firework displays lighting up the castles and vineyards on the banks of Germany’s famous river in different locations. Up and down the shore are live concerts, outdoor fairgrounds with rides and games for the entire family, drinks, food, and much more entertainment and nourishment. Musical performances include the genres of acoustic rock, country rock, American folk, musical comedy, bossa nova, modern jazz, Deutsch pop, and swing jazz.

Pic Credits https://www.allthingsloud.com/

7) Rock am Ring and Rock im Park (June)

They are two of the largest rock festivals in the world, with crowds reaching 160,000 people annually. These festivals take place simultaneously over the course of three days in both Nürberg and Nuremberg.

Superstar rock musicians, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Korn, Deftones, Black Sabbath, and many others perform to audiences at both venues.

Pic Credits https://m-festival.biz/

8) Munich Opera Festival (June – July)

It is held yearly at the Bavarian State Opera House in Munich. It was founded almost 140 years ago. It’s one of the oldest and most comprehensive opera festivals in the world today. The Opera Festival consists of all of the previously-staged operas performed during the past year and always concludes with an opera by Richard Wagner’s music, such as Die Walkure or Gotterdammerung.

Pic Credits http://blog.bonn-region.de/

9) Beethovenfest in Bonn (September)

Each year a grand German music festival is held in the town of Bonn (Beethoven’s birthplace), incorporating concerts, workshops and events in the Beethovenhalle concert hall. International and local visitors descend upon Bonn to hear various internationally acclaimed guest artists. The next important step is working up to 2020, Beethoven’s 250th birthday, when Bonn will play an important role in the German celebrations.

10) Oktoberfest (late September – early October)

The highlight of the German festival calendar: Oktoberfest in Bavari, is a 15-day celebration of Bavarian beer with 6 million visitors. Concerts, accordion competitions, crafts and ware vendors, traditional folk dancing, German music, German foods, and German beers all make for an enormously fun and festive annual event. The German Biergartens (beer gardens) make for a colorful and festive atmosphere for people to enjoy celebrating the delicious culture of Germany.

11) Frankfurt Book Fair (October)

The world’s largest trade fair for books dates all the way back to 15th century, when Johannes Gutenberg first invented movable type just a few kilometers away from Frankfurt. Soon after, the local booksellers held the first book fair. The Frankfurt Book Fair host to an average of 80 fairs and exhibitions, the city attracts more than 250,000 visitors from all over the world. 

12) Halloween (November)

While this celebration of all things ghoulish and creepy isn’t celebrated on such a grand scale as it is in the United States, Halloween has become increasingly popular in Germany over the past decade. One of the biggest events takes place at Burg Frankenstein near Darmstadt. Actors dressed as ghosts and monsters wander around the candlelit castle frightening guests, and the scary soundtrack adds to the ambiance.

13) Christmas Market (December)

Christmas Market is a wonderful part of the German holiday tradition and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Every German city celebrates the season with at least one traditional Christmas market. Notable Christmas markets are in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, Lübeck, Münster, Stuttgart and Heidelberg. Here’s an interesting fact: The tradition of the Christmas tree started in Germany during the Renaissance. It was typically decorated with apples, nuts, and other foods.

If you’re planning on visiting Germany at any time, you have no excuse not to attend one of these German festivals. Which one is in your bucket list? Tell us in the comments. 

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