Official Public German Holidays in 2021:
- New Year’s Day, January 1, Wednesday.
- Three Kings Day January 6, Monday.
- Fasching, February 15, Monday.
- Good Friday, April 2, Friday.
- Easter Monday, April 5, Monday.
- Labour Day, May 01, Saturday.
- Mother’s Day, May 9, Sunday.
- Ascension Day, May 13, Thursday.
- Father’s Day, May 13, Thursday.
- Whit Monday, May 23, Sunday.
- Corpus Christi, June 3, Thursday.
- Assumption Day, August 15, Sunday.
- Oktoberfest, September 18, Saturday.
- German Unity Day, October 3, Sunday.
- Day of Reformation, October 31, Sunday.
- All Saints’ Day, November 1, Monday.
- Repentance Day, November 17, Wednesday.
- Christmas Day, December 25, Saturday.
- St Stephens Day, December 26, Sunday.
(N) = National Public Holiday
(R) = Regional Public Holiday
January 1: New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag) (N)
The first day of the modern Gregorian and Julian calendar is a public holiday in Germany. Schools and businesses are closed on this day.
January 6: Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) (R)
Epiphany, also known as the ‘Three Kings Day’, is a major Christian celebration alongside Easter and Christmas. It marks the official end of Christmas, and according to Christian tradition, it is the day when the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem with gifts for baby Jesus, a few days after his birth. In Germany, it is a public holiday in the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt, where many businesses, banks, and stores are closed.
February 15: Fasching (Fastnacht)
Fasching is called the carnival season in Germany, the celebrations’ date of which changes every year depending on when Easter falls. Parties, celebrations, parades and dressed up people are the main characteristics of this event. Though celebrated by many it is not a Public Holiday
April 02: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (N)
Good Friday is a public holiday in every German state, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated just two days before Easter Sunday. Aside from the special religious traditions of this day, people also engage in non-religious traditions.
April 05: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N)
Easter Monday is an annual public holiday. It follows Good Friday and Easter Monday, thus marking the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It falls on different dates every year and many businesses and services are closed on this day. In Germany, it is celebrated with various local customs as the candle-lit parade and egg races.
May 1: Labor Day (Maifeiertag) (N)
Labor Day which is also known as International Worker’s Day is an official holiday in Germany since 1933. However, the holiday has been celebrated by German workers for many decades before that. This is a day that celebrates workers and their contribution to society.
May 9: Mother’s Day (Muttertag)
Mother’s Day in Germany is an event celebrated on the second Sunday of May, so it falls on a different date each year. It was also declared an official German holiday in 1933. Flowers, gifts, and chocolates are among the most common gifts of this day. It was a tradition to honour mothers with a medal until WW II, for bringing forth children.
May 13: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) (N)
Ascension Day is a religious holiday celebrated 40 days after Easter. In Germany, it is also marked as Father’s Day or Men’s Day, since back in the XVIII century fathers received gifts after the parades of Ascension Day.
May 24: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) (N)
Whit Monday, also known as Pentecost Monday is celebrated fifty days after Easter, and it is the final holiday of this season. The day is celebrated through special spring festivals and church service.
June 3: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R)
The Feast of Corpus Christi takes place 60 days after Easter Sunday, and dates back to the second half of the thirteenth-century. On this day many Germans attend the church service, where special attention is paid to the sacrament’s blessing which consists of only bread or wafers. It is celebrated in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and some local authorities in Saxony and Thuringia.
August 8: Peace Festival (R)
Peace Festival in Germany is celebrated on August 8 every year. It is marked in commemoration of 1629’s ban on protestants from practicing their religion in Augsburg, the German state of Bavaria. Therefore, it is a public holiday only in Bavaria and not the rest of Germany.
August 15: Assumption Day (Maria Himmelfahrt) (R)
Assumption Day is an important day of Christian religion. It is a feast that commemorates the departure of Mary from this life and also the assumption of her body into heaven. In Germany, it is celebrated by Saarland and some local authorities in Bavaria.
October 3: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) (N)
The Day of German Unity is a national holiday which commemorates the German reunification in 1990 after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This day is celebrated with a festival around the Brandenburg Gate. Activities like horseback riding, karaoke, dice games, theatre performances, merry-go-rounds etc, are organized to mark this event. The national celebrations are hosted by a different German city each year.
October 31: Reformation Day (Reformationstag) (R)
Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and parts of Thuringia.
Reformation Day is a Protestant Christian religious holiday in Germany, celebrated on October 31, in commemoration of Martin Luther’s Reformation movement of XVI century. According to history on this day 1517, Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses at a church door, in which he expressed his concerns over corruption in the Catholic church.
November 1: All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) (R)
All Saints Day is a Christian holiday in Germany devoted to remembering and praying for the departed believers. Aside from church services people also lit candles and decorate the graves of their beloved ones with flowers and wreaths. Families also gather together for meals. It is celebrated in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and parts of Thuringia.
November 17: Day of Prayer and Repentance (Buß- und Bettag) (R)
Day of Prayer and Repentance is celebrated on the last Wednesday before November. From 1990 to 1994 it was a public holiday for the whole of Germany, which the German people exchanged for health insurance improvements. However, now it is a public holiday only in the state of Saxony in Germany. The idea of the event is that Protestant Christians pray or reflect in order to find again the way to God. It is celebrated in Saxony.
December 25: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N)
Christmas Day is a public holiday in Germany and is celebrated on December 25. The German traditions of this day are similar to those around the globe. The colourful German Christmas market is among these traditions together with Santa, the decorated tree, and special dishes.
December 26: Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day (Stephanstag) (N)
Boxing Day in Germany is celebrated on December 26, just a day after Christmas. It is also called St Stephan’s day who was the first Christian martyr, convicted of blasphemy against Moses and God.
Last updated: January 14th, 2021
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