German Festivals and Holidays

Nobody celebrates like the Germans!

Germany has a festival for nearly every occasion and every time of year. Here’s a brief glimpse of Germany’s better-known festivals, and the food and traditions that accompany them.

New Year's Eve at Brandenburger Tor

New Year’s Eve (Silvester)

A very colorful night filled with good food, music, dancing and friends! Silvester in Germany means parties in city squares, sparkling wine and kisses at midnight. Like in the US, it’s incredibly popular…

Three King’s Day (Drei Königstag)

Many nations celebrate the full 12 days of Christmas, through to the feast day of Epiphany, on January 6th. In Germany the twelfth day of Christmas is celebrated as Three King’s Day (Dreikönigstag) and commemorates the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem…

Old mosaic of the Three Kings

Karneval Parader

Karneval (Fasching)

The celebration of Carnival, from which our New Orleans Mardi Gras is derived, is a time for merriment and excess before the solemn days of Lent…

Valentine’s Day

A very colorful night filled with good food, music, dancing and friends! Silvester in Germany means parties in city squares, sparkling wine and kisses at midnight. Like in the US, it’s incredibly popular…

Iced gingerbread Valentines hearts

Easter

Easter (Ostern)

German Easter traditions inlude many that we think of as universal — Easter eggs, Easter baskets filled with sweets, and, of course, the Easter bunny. In fact, some of these traditions likely originated…

Spargelfest

In Germany the harvest of white asparagus in spring is treated with full reverence., and the average German enjoys asparagus at least once a day in asparagus seasonr…

Green and White Asparagus Bundles

Maypole with Ribbons Flying

Mayfest (Maifest)

In one of mankind’s oldest traditions, the celebration of the return of light from darkness, nature’s reawakening after winter’s cold is marked by bonfires dancing, and feasting…

Oktoberfest

From Oktoberfest history to recipes, from Oktoberfest party guides to the Chicken Dance, we have the resources to help you celebrate this iconic fall holiday…

Oktoberfest celebration in the US

Baked Weckmänner with Pipes

St. Martin’s Day (MartinsTag)

St. Martin’s Day is one of the most popular saint’s days in Germany! It is primarily celebrated by youth and rural populations in Germany…

Christmas (Weihnachten)

Ten beloved German Christmas traditions, with some historical background, anecdotes and even delicious recipe suggestions…

Christmas goodies on the table

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