Summer festivals in Germany are known to be among the loudest and largest in the world, with millions celebrating the country’s culture, beer and food together. During the summer holidays, cities come alive with lively markets, street parades, and beautiful costumes throughout the day. In addition to the iconic beer festival, which is Oktoberfest, Germany is also famous for its classical music and films. The city of Bonn celebrates the famous composer Beethoven with a series of symphonic concerts, exhibitions, and workshops, while Berlin hosts an international film festival featuring star figures from filmmakers, actors, and producers from all over the world. And they’re not even the biggest of Germany’s most popular summer festivals!
Biggest Summer Events and Festivals in Germany
Walpurgis Night is in honor of the 8th-century abbot of Walpurga, who is celebrated by German Christians as having struggled with illness, rabies, whooping cough, and witchcraft. But the Heidelberg celebration is much more a language than a religion. Legend has it that witches would gather on top of a mountain in a Brocken region each year, which would then be counterbalanced by Christians praying through the intercession of St. Walburga. With a huge bonfire, drinking, and general amusement gathering in the Thingstätte, this pilgrimage celebrates the feast of the hocus pocus rather than any saint.
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What started as a royal wedding ceremony is today the world’s largest folk festival, attracting a crowd of nearly 7 million people who consume nearly 8 million gallons of beer. The Bavarian capital, Munich, is one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations and is full of castles, palaces, monuments, and magnificent architecture. Oktoberfest is the most famous of all the traditional German festivals. During the two weeks of the autumn Oktoberfest, the whole city dirndl, lederhosen, and huge crowds join in for drinking, eating, and having fun on the Wies’n. This top summer festival in Germany is not just about drinking (although it will obviously be the focus), but also tours, games, shops, and dining stalls.
Europe’s largest club festival and the German equivalent of SXSW, the Reeperbahn is a music festival that has spread to the beautiful northern port city of Hamburg. Instead of being held in one venue, most bars, clubs and music venues will host 800 concerts across the city on four days in September. The publisher’s newest lovers will debut at the Reeperbahn and discover the next stars. Publishers ’scouts, indie aspirants, and underground music fans can gain tens of thousands.
The world’s largest international film festival, the Berlinale, has been held annually since 1978. Berlinale showcases the world’s elite film talent in almost every genre. Although one of the most beautiful red carpet events in Europe, the Berlinale is different from many other film festivals in that it is also accessible to people outside the film industry. While many prestigious film festivals only require an invitation (Cannes) or thousands of dollars in admission badges (Sundance, SXSW), Berlinale sells public tickets for a single screening. About 12 euros a pop, in fact, not much more expensive than seeing a movie in theaters.
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Attracting more than 600,000 people each September, the Wurstmarkt is the world’s largest wine festival and dates back to 1417. Wurst means sausage, which is as plentiful as wine, so this traditional German festival is gluttonous for a good time. With the region’s 36 historic wineries, which produce mainly Riesling, Pinot, and Gewurztraminer, lots and lots of tastings are needed. According to locals, there are only two seasons in Bad Dürkheim: before and after Wurstmarkt. No one really remembers what happens in the meantime.
Where: Bad Dürkheim
6. DFB Pokal
If you had ever believed that the Germans were stoic, you have never seen them at a football game. Like most Europeans, Germans are crazy about football and are often deeply loyal to their regional team. The annual DFB Cup knockout championship for 64 teams from Germany’s highest-rated football teams. The final, to be held at the Berlin Olympic Stadium this summer, is the German equivalent of the Super Bowl. The rivalry is high. Face paints and banners as far as the eye can see. Singing, cheering, open crying, and casual striptease make the DFB Pokal Final one of the wildest and most emotional annual events in Germany.
The Carnival from Venice now can be celebrated from all over the world from New Orleans to Rio de Janeiro. Each has its own unique taste, and the German version resembles a two-week costume party. This is especially true in Cologne, a city famous for its carnival holidays. The biggest summer event in Germany of the season is Rose on Monday, with 74 decorated floats, 67 tractors, and 50 Ford Trucks promenades for three hours via the 6 km track in Cologne city center. The parade performers toss sweets, flowers, and plush toys to spectators, the vast majority of whom dress in their dumbest costumes. The parade is usually filled with political satire, with many floats featuring cartoons of European politicians.
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8. Asparagus Fest and Onion Fest
Thanks to Germany’s long and persistent farming culture, festivals are held throughout the country to celebrate all-important harvests, especially two crops. Although German food festivals dedicated to individual foods can be found in most regions where the crop is grown, the Weimar Onion Fest (Zwiebelnfest) and the Asparagus Fest (Spargelfest) in Schwetzingen are the two largest and best-known harvest festivals in the country. Not only can you buy the latest selections of the season, but you can also try plenty of food around the instant vegetables and put on asparagus or onion-themed costumes.
Where: Schwetzingen & Weimar
The sparkling city of northern Hamburg is of immense importance in Western culture. As a major seaport founded in the late 12th century, Hamburg was a historic commercial center without which the rest of the world would never have discovered The Beatles or a hamburger. In honor of the port, which contributes so much to Western culture, Hamburgers celebrate their birthdays every year on the first weekend of May with a huge festival called the Hafengeburtstag. More than one million take part in the expanding festivals, which also included boat shows, fireworks, concerts, and an outdoor fair.
Hope you enjoyed the brief list of the top 5 summer festivals in Germany that offer umpteen beach sports and fabulous scenic views of the city. There are various famous spots at the mentioned Festivals of All Seasons Celebrated in Germany which delivers many attractions. For more engaging blogs like these head on to our other blogs and ping us in the comment sections below if you hold any queries regarding the travel destinations. For more engaging information regarding the best summer vacation ideas, destinations, places, festivals & more, visit our Adequate Travel blog.
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