Holidays and Seasons

Epiphany singers on their way to meet President Gauck

Epiphany singers

During the period between 27 December and 6 January groups of colourfully dressed children and young people called "Sternsinger" (star singers or epiphany singers) roam the streets of many regions in Germany. They are traditionally dressed to resemble biblical figures, and carry a star with them.

World's biggest Advent candle in Schlitz

Advent in Germany

The Advent season is eagerly awaited by many Germans as they enjoy the anticipation and preparation for the celebration of Christmas. On the third Advent, we look at some of the traditional customs and activities of the ‘Adventszeit’ in Germany, including the world's largest Advent candle.

Saint Nicholas Day

Nikolaustag - Saint Nicholas Day

In Germany, 6 December is known as ‘Nikolaustag’ (Saint Nicholas Day). The night before, German children anticipate an overnight visit from ‘der Nikolaus’ by scrubbing their shoes and leaving them in front of their doors in the hope that they will be filled with chocolates and sweets! Naughty children are paid a visit by Knecht Ruprecht…

German Christmas Markets in the United Kingdom

Clusters of wooden huts selling festive food and hand-made crafts are a long-standing tradition in Germany and are now firmly established as a quintessential part of the Christmas season in the United Kingdom as well. Our interactive map provides an overview of German Christmas markets taking place in the United Kingdom this year!

Carnival dancing girl (Tanzmariechen) in Cologne

Carnival

It is a time of elaborate parades, masks, balls and election of Carnival king and queen and official madness. Carnival is often called the fifth season.

Easter eggs

Easter traditions in Germany

Germany has numerous traditions and customs characterising the delightful holiday of Easter. Here you can find out more about what makes German Easter so special.

Market stall selling 'Spargel'

Spargelzeit or 'asparagus season' - a national obsession

The 'Spargelzeit' is one of the most important dates on the German culinary calendar. From mid-April to 24 June every year, Germans go mad for white asparagus, when the average German will consume a staggering 1.5kg of the 'white gold'.

Erecting the maypole in Dresden

1 May celebrations

In Germany 1 May is celebrated as the end of the cold season to welcome spring. Plenty of colourful traditions attract people to leave their houses and enjoy the outdoors. It is also known as Labour Day in Germany.

Children with school cones

Starting school in Germany

Wouldn’t you beam with joy if you got a cone full of sweets and little gifts on your first day of school? Sweetening the first steps into the serious side of life is considered an old German tradition which can be traced back to the 19th century, taking its starting point in former Eastern Germany.

Berlin on 3 October 1990

Day of German Unity

Germany has been reunited since 3 October 1990. The peaceful revolution of the people in the GDR had brought down the Wall that had divided Germany into east and west.

A waitress carries many Maß of beer as Oktoberfest kicks off in Munich

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest enjoys a legendary status world-wide. After all, as Germany’s central administration for tourism determined in 1999, it is as “typically German” as the Berlin Wall.

Pumpkins on a farm in Klaistow, Brandenburg

Pumpkin season in Germany

With sinking temperatures, falling leaves and the beginning of autumn, the pumpkin returns to German front porches, back gardens and kitchen worktops. It is pumpkin season in Germany.

Lantern procession on St Martin's Day

St Martin's Day

In Germany, it's traditional to celebrate St Martin's Day on 11 November, and many different customs have sprung up around this festival.