Holidays

Public holidays (Gesetzliche Feiertage) are determined by the federal states of Germany, except from the “Tag der Deutschen Einheit” (German Unity Day) which is a national holiday and set on 3 October. The number of public holidays can differ from one state to another hence the following dates are the most common ones. To be totally sure of the public holidays of the state you are visiting go to¬†feiertage.net¬†to double check.

‚áí1 January: Neujahr, 1. Neujahrstag¬†(New Year’s Day). On New Year’s Day shops remain closed, restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours.

⇒ Easter Sunday minus 2 days: Karfreitag (Good Friday). As Good Friday is the highest holiday of the church, shops remain closed. Some families use the day to color eggs for the Easter weekend, restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours.

⇒Ostersonntag & Ostermontag (Easter Sunday & Easter Monday). Shops remain closed due to the Easter celebrations, restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours.

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Photo by ganz-hamburg.de

‚áí 1 May: Tag der Arbeit (International Worker’s Day/ Labor Day).¬†It’s officially the celebration day of the working class, promoted¬†¬†by the¬†International Labour Movement, anarchists, socialists, and communists. Shops remain closed,¬†¬†restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours. The night before the 1 May many people celebrate “Tanz in den Mai” (Dance into the May) with parties and bonfires.

‚áíEaster Sunday plus 39 days: Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day).¬†The so called Holy Thursday¬†commemorates the bodily ascension of Jesus into heaven, on the 40th day after Easter Sunday.¬†Shops remain closed,¬†¬†restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours. This Thursday is often followed by a “Br√ľckentag” (an extra day off between a bank holiday and the weekend) and thus gives the people a long weekend, which many use for a short trip.

‚áíEaster Sunday plus 50 days: Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday).¬†” the occasion of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1‚Äď31. and therefore in the Christian¬†liturgical year, it became a feast commemorating this occasion. For this reason, Pentecost is described by some Christians as the “Birthday of the Church”.[3]¬†The Pentecostal movement of Christianity derives its name from this New Testament event, as the movement emphasizes direct personal experience with God, akin to the Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles.” (Pentecost)¬†Shops remain closed,¬†¬†restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours. Schools tend to have a free day on the following day giving students a long weekend.

‚áí3 October: Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day).¬†¬†The Day of¬†Timeline_BGerman Unity on 3 October has been the German national holiday since 1990, when the reunification was formally completed.¬†An alternative choice could have been 9 November 1989 : The day when¬†the Berlin Wall came down. This would actually coincide with the anniversary of the proclamation of the German Republic in 1918, and the defeat of Hitler’s first coup in 1923. ¬†Shops remain closed,¬†¬†restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours.

‚áí 25/26 December: Erster/ Zweiter Weihnachtstag (Chrsitmas Day/¬†St Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day).¬†Although in Germany Christmas is celebrated on the evening of 24 December (Heiligabend, Christmas Eve) including opening presents, the 24th is not a holiday in Germany but the following two so called “Christmas days” are. People often use these days to visit family members and close friends or to simply relax and reflect the old year.¬†¬†Shops remain closed,¬†¬†restaurants, bars, cafes might be closed or open or have different opening hours.