Festivities and public holidays in Germany

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The end of the year (31st of December, Silvester) and the beginning of the New Year (1st of January, Neujahr) are often celebrated with family or friends. At midnight people traditionally welcome in the New Year with Champagne and fireworks.

At Christmas (25th and 26th of December), Christians in Germany celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Non-religious or less religious people also generally spend time at Christmas with family and friends. Traditionally, on Christmas Eve (24th of December, Heiligabend) everyone gathers around the Christmas tree and exchanges presents. Four weeks beforehand, during Advent, Christmas markets are set up in the cities and homes are decorated.

In springtime, carnival is celebrated in Düsseldorf. During carnival – Womens' Carnival Thursday (Altweiberdonnerstag), Carnation Saturday (Nelkensamstag), Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) and Violet Tuesday (Veilchendienstag), people dress up in costumes and party on the streets or in the pubs. Decorated wagons drive through the city on parade (Karnevalsumzug).

At Easter, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is also a family feast, which is a lot of fun for children in particular. Traditionally, children hunt for Easter eggs which have been hidden for them.

Public holidays in the German federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW):

Public Holiday


New Years Day (Neujahr)

1st of January

Good Friday (Karfreitag)

Friday before Easter

Easter Monday (Ostermontag)

End of March / Beginning of April

Labour Day (Tag der Arbeit)

1st of May

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt)

10 days before Whitsuntide

Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag)

in June

Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam)

2nd Thursday after Whitsuntide

German Unification Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit)

3rd of October

All Saints Day (Allerheiligen)

1st of November

Christmas and Boxing Day (Weihnachten)

25th and 26th of December




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