19 Public Holidays in Germany to Look Out For in 2024! 

Ever wondered what makes Germany’s public holidays so special? Why do streets buzz with festive vibes and why do the aromas from bakeries seem extra enticing on these days? 

Let’s unravel this mystery together! In 2024, Germany’s calendar is dotted with public holidays that are not just days off work, but cultural fiestas, historical commemorations, and sheer joy. Ever heard of public holidays where people dance around a maypole or ones where the entire country lights up with bonfires? 

Well, Germany has them! Each of the public holidays have its own unique flavor, and I’m here to give you a sneak peek into what each day holds. Forget the mundane routine; let’s dive into the vibrant world of German public holidays. 

Ready to find out which day has the country indulging in delicious doughnuts or why some regions turn into a carnival paradise?

19 Public Holidays in Germany to Look Out For

Mark your calendars, plan your holidays, book your vacations, because these are the holidays waiting for you!

#1 New Year’s Day (Neujahr)

Date: January 1, 2024 

New Year’s Day in Germany is more than just a calendar flip; it’s a festival of hope and joy. As the first sunrise of 2024 peeks over the horizon, Germany wakes up to a day steeped in optimism. Streets still whisper tales of the night’s fireworks, symbolizing driving away spirits of the old year. 

Families gather for a hearty ‘Neujahrsbrunch‘, savoring treats like ‘Berliner Pfannkuchen’, a doughnut-like delight. It’s a day of resolutions, where dreams are set, and possibilities unfold. From peaceful walks in frost-kissed parks to lively family gatherings, Neujahr encapsulates the spirit of new beginnings.

public holidays

#2 Three Kings Day (Heilige Drei Könige)

Date: January 6, 2024 

On January 6th, Germany sparkles with the celebration of Three Kings Day, known as ‘Heilige Drei Könige’. This day, steeped in Christian tradition, commemorates the Magi’s visit to baby Jesus. 

Across Germany, children dress as the three wise men, singing carols and spreading joy door-to-door. In a unique blend of spirituality and community, these young carolers collect donations for charitable causes. Homes are often marked with chalk inscriptions, a blessing for the year. This holiday isn’t just a religious observance; it’s a heartwarming display of community spirit and a reminder of the joy of giving.

Your recommended post for the week: A Peek into a Day in German Life

#3 Carnival (Karneval)

Date: February 8 – 13, 2024 

Germany’s Carnival (Karneval) is set to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary! Imagine streets bursting with color, laughter echoing through the air, and a spirit of unrestrained joy. This isn’t just a festival; it’s a cultural explosion! 

This is one of those public holidays that is marked by vibrant parades, quirky costumes, and infectious music. Each city offers its unique twist on this tradition, making it a kaleidoscope of celebrations. From Cologne’s spirited parades to Düsseldorf’s satirical floats, Carnival in Germany is an experience that dances across the lines of fantasy and reality. 

Don’t just hear about it; be part of this unforgettable revelry!

#4 Good Friday (Karfreitag)

Date: March 29, 2024

Good Friday (Karfreitag) is a day of profound significance in Germany. This is one of the solemn public holidays, which in particular reflects on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, marking a moment of deep historical and spiritual contemplation. The atmosphere across the country is one of quiet reflection and reverence. 

Many attend church services, embracing the day’s serene and contemplative mood. It’s a time when the usually bustling streets turn tranquil, offering a moment to pause and reflect on life’s deeper meanings. While it’s a contrast to Germany’s more exuberant celebrations, Good Friday’s peaceful solemnity holds its own unique and poignant beauty. 

#5 Easter Monday (Ostermontag)

Date: April 1, 2024 

Easter Monday, or Ostermontag, is not just a sequel to the Easter festivities in Germany; it’s a unique blend of tradition and springtime splendor. This day is steeped in customs that reach deep into the heart of German heritage. Imagine communities coming together for ‘Eierrollen‘ or egg rolling competitions, symbolizing new life and hope. 

It’s a time when nature’s renewal is celebrated, and families gather for tranquil picnics in blossoming parks. Amidst the serene backdrop, there’s laughter, shared stories, and a sense of togetherness. Easter Monday in Germany isn’t just a holiday; it’s a warm embrace of spring and community spirit.

#6 Labour Day (Tag der Arbeit)

Date: May 01, 2024 

Labour Day, or ‘Tag der Arbeit‘, celebrated on May 1st, is more than just one of the public holidays in Germany; it’s a heartfelt nod to the working class’s contributions. The air fills with a sense of unity and appreciation as people across the nation participate in marches and rallies, advocating for workers’ rights and social justice. 

It’s a day when political engagement and community spirit interlace, reflecting Germany’s deep-rooted respect for labor and equality. In the midst of speeches and demonstrations, you’ll also find family-friendly festivities, making it a day of both significance and communal joy. Labour Day in Germany is where solidarity and celebration walk hand in hand.

Don’t forget to read: 5 Amazing Ways in Which Berlin Practices Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Living

#7 Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt)

Date: May 9, 2024 

Ascension Day is a serene contrast to the boisterous Carnival, offering a moment of reflection and tranquility. Celebrated 39 days after Easter, it commemorates Jesus Christ’s ascent into heaven. On this day, the air in Germany is filled with a harmonious blend of spiritual reverence and springtime freshness. 

It’s a time when families gather, churches hold special services, and the pace of life seems to gently slow down. In many regions, it also coincides with Father’s Day, adding a familial warmth to the occasion. Nature walks and leisurely outdoor gatherings are common, making it a day of peaceful celebration and familial bonds.

#8 Mother’s Day (Muttertag)

Date: May 12, 2024 

Mother’s Day (Muttertag) is one of the public holidays revered globally. It is celebrated with heartwarming enthusiasm and is more than just a day to honor mothers; it’s a symphony of gratitude and love. Picture families gathered, sharing stories and laughter, while mothers are pampered and cherished. 

It’s a day when the aroma of freshly-baked cakes fills homes, and colorful bouquets brighten up rooms. In Germany, this day isn’t just about gifting; it’s about creating memories. From breakfast in bed to leisurely family walks in nature, Muttertag is about pausing the hustle of life to appreciate the tireless love and strength of mothers. It’s a simple yet profound way to say ‘Danke, Mama!’.

public holidays

#9 Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag)

Date: May 20, 2024

On June 10, Germany celebrates Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag), a serene counterpart to the boisterous Carnival. Again, this is another one of the public holidays, deeply rooted in Christian tradition, marks the end of Easter season, commemorating the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the apostles. It’s a day when the pace slows and reflection takes center stage. Streets, usually buzzing with activity, embrace a tranquil harmony. 

Families gather for leisurely picnics in sun-dappled parks, while communities engage in local festivals and open-air concerts. Whit Monday is a chance to breathe in the beauty of early summer, indulge in peaceful moments, and witness traditions that have been cherished for generations.

We think you’ll love this: 7 Amazing German Celebrations and Holidays That Need To Be On Your Radar

#10 Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam)

Date: May 30, 2024 

Corpus Christi, known as Fronleichnam in Germany, is a profound celebration observed with solemn grandeur. This day commemorates the belief in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Experience a different side of Germany as towns and villages are enveloped in a reverent atmosphere. 

Witness the heart of this tradition through magnificent processions, where streets are artistically adorned with flower petals, creating a tapestry of vibrant colors. The air is filled with the harmony of church bells and chants, offering a moment of spiritual reflection. Fronleichnam is not just a holiday; it’s a deeply moving cultural and religious observance, unique to the rich tapestry of German festivities.

#11 Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt)

Date: August 15, 2024 

On August 15, Germany observes Assumption Day, or ‘Mariä Himmelfahrt‘, a serene yet significant holiday. This day, primarily celebrated in Bavaria and Saarland, honors the belief in the Virgin Mary’s ascent to heaven. Unlike the exuberant Carnival, Assumption Day is marked by a tranquil atmosphere. Imagine quiet streets, closed shops, and a pause in the usual hustle. 

The day is filled with church services featuring beautiful choral music and floral decorations, reflecting deep reverence. It’s a time for reflection and family, where the pace of life slows, and a sense of peace prevails.

#12 Oktoberfest

Date: From September 20, 2024 to October 5, 2024  

Oktoberfest, the world-renowned beer festival, is an unmissable event in Germany’s annual calendar. From late September to the first Sunday in October, Munich becomes a magnet for beer enthusiasts and fun-seekers alike. 

I want you to think of a festival where traditional Lederhosen and Dirndls blend seamlessly with the clinking of beer steins and the aroma of sizzling Bratwurst. Oktoberfest isn’t just about beer; it’s a celebration of Bavarian culture, complete with hearty food, lively folk music, and carnival rides. Each tent offers a unique atmosphere, from boisterous singing to cozy, family-friendly vibes. 

Also read: Unlock 4 Secrets to a Smooth German Work Visa Process Made Easier Than Ever!

#13 German Unity Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit)

Date: October 3, 2024 

German Unity Day is a poignant reminder of the country’s journey towards reunification. This day isn’t just a tick on the calendar; it’s a heartfelt celebration of unity and peace. Envision the joy as streets come alive with concerts, fireworks, and communal gatherings. 

It’s a day where history is not only remembered but vibrantly lived. Cities like Berlin and Leipzig become hubs of jubilation, hosting events that blend cultural heritage with modern festivities. It’s more than a national holiday; it’s a symbol of resilience and harmony, a time to celebrate patriotism and the country itself. 

#14 Day of Reformation (Reformationstag)

Date: October 31, 2024 

The Day of Reformation (Reformationstag), celebrated on October 31st, is a significant holiday steeped in historical and cultural importance. This day commemorates Martin Luther’s act of nailing his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, sparking the Protestant Reformation. It’s a day that resonates with themes of change and introspection. 

Across many regions in Germany, especially in the Protestant states, this day is marked with special church services, reflecting on religious freedom and diversity. The air is often filled with a reflective and respectful ambiance, offering a moment to ponder historical shifts and personal beliefs.

#15 All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen)

Date: November 1, 2024

All Saints’ Day, known as Allerheiligen in Germany, falls on November 1st, and it’s a day of serene reflection contrasting the country’s usually vibrant celebrations. This solemn holiday is dedicated to remembering and honoring the saints and loved ones who have passed away. 

If you want a picture of how the holiday will look, imagine walking through the quiet streets, observing people visiting cemeteries, adorning graves with candles and flowers, creating a gentle sea of flickering lights. It’s a time for contemplation and family gatherings, offering a peaceful pause in the bustling rhythm of life.  

public holidays

#16 Christmas Eve (Weihnachten)

Date: December 24, 2024 

Christmas Eve, or ‘Weihnachten’, casts a magical spell over Germany. It’s a time when twinkling lights adorn streets, and the aroma of Glühwein fills the air. Unlike many places where Christmas Day is the main event, in Germany, Christmas Eve holds a special charm. 

Families gather around beautifully decorated Christmas trees, sharing gifts and stories. Traditional treats like Stollen and Lebkuchen are savored, while children eagerly await the arrival of Christkind or Weihnachtsmann. The evening often culminates in attending a serene church service, the soft glow of candles complementing the night’s enchanting atmosphere.

#17 Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag)

public holidays

Date: December 25, 2024 

On December 25, 2024, witness Germany transform into a winter wonderland. Homes glow with twinkling lights and streets are adorned with festive decorations. Families gather to share a hearty meal, often featuring succulent roast goose or duck, and indulge in delectable Stollen, a traditional Christmas fruit bread. 

The air is filled with the rich aroma of Glühwein, a spiced mulled wine, warming both hands and hearts. It’s a day of warmth and joy, where the spirit of Christmas resonates in every corner, creating a tapestry of cherished memories.

Make sure to read: Top 5 Exclusive Apple Discounts for Students in Germany You Can’t Miss!

#18 Boxing Day (Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag)

Date: December 26, 2024 

Boxing Day in Germany, known as Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag, is celebrated on December 26th and holds a charm that extends the festive spirit beyond Christmas Day. Unlike the shopping frenzy often associated with Boxing Day in other countries, Germany embraces a quieter, more reflective approach. 

This day is typically spent in the warmth of family gatherings, indulging in the leftovers of the sumptuous Christmas feast, and enjoying peaceful moments. Many Germans use this time for leisurely outdoor activities like winter walks in nature. It’s a day that beautifully balances the joyous celebration with tranquil family time, extending the magic of the holiday season.

#19 New Year’s Eve (Silvester)

Date: December 31, 2024 

As the clock winds down on December 31, Germany gears up for Silvester, a New Year’s Eve festivity unlike any other. Streets aglow with fireworks painting the night sky, as the air fills with cheers and the clinking of glasses. In Germany, Silvester is celebrated with a blend of lively parties and unique traditions. 

Families and friends gather for a feast, often enjoying fondue or raclette, symbolizing warmth and togetherness. Don’t miss the quirky custom of Bleigießen – where molten lead is poured into water to predict the future based on its shape. It’s a night where German joy and tradition fuse, welcoming the new year with open arms and bright smiles.

Additional Regional Holidays in Germany in 2024

Holiday NameDate/TimeStates Celebrated In
Heilige Drei Könige (Epiphany)January 6Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
Internationaler Frauentag (International Women’s Day)March 8Berlin
Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi)Variable (60 days after Easter Sunday)Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, some parts of Thuringia
Augsburger Friedensfest (Augsburg Peace Festival)August 8Augsburg (Bavaria)
Maria Himmelfahrt (Assumption Day)August 15Saarland, parts of Bavaria
Weltkindertag (World Children’s Day)September 20Thuringia
Reformationstag (Reformation Day)October 31Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Hamburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia
Allerheiligen (All Saints’ Day)November 1Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland
Buß- und Bettag (Day of Repentance and Prayer)Variable (Wednesday before November 23)Saxony
Additional regional holidays in Germany

So, What Are You Upto During the Next Set of Public Holidays?

As our journey through Germany’s 2024 public holidays wraps up, aren’t you already picking favorites? Imagine yourself amidst the vivid Karneval parades or feeling the warmth of a Weihnachtsmarkt. Can you hear the New Year’s fireworks or taste the sweetness of a Pfingsten treat?

Each of these public holidays isn’t just a date on the calendar; they’re invitations to step into the heart of German culture and make unforgettable memories. 

So, which festival will find its way into your travel diary? Will you be toasting at Oktoberfest or hunting eggs on Ostermontag? Germany awaits with a kaleidoscope of traditions and celebrations in 2024. 

Now, now…don’t just read about it, step into this festive wonderland and create your own story!

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