German Holiday Calendar - Part 2
Holiday Calendar: Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 (+ Movable Feasts)
Below you’ll find Part 2 of our calendar of Austrian, German, and Swiss holidays, festivals, and observances. Dates marked with an asterisk (*) are official holidays.
July | Juli
- Sorry, Americans, but July 4 is just another day in Germany and Europe. There are also no official German holidays in July.
- July 20 | Commemorative day of the assassination attempt on Hitler (Gedenktag des Attentats auf Hitler)
Commemoration of the July 20, 1944 assassination attempt against Hitler. The plot failed when a bomb placed by Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg detonated but only injured the dictator slightly. Von Stauffenberg and his fellow conspirators were arrested and hanged. Today von Stauffenberg and the other plotters are recognized for trying to end Nazi terror and restore democracy in Germany. (The Tom Cruise film Valkyrie tells this story.)
August | August
- August 1* | Swiss National Day (Nationalfeiertag) - Celebrated with fireworks
- August 15 | Assumption Day (Mariä Himmelfahrt) - In Austria and Catholic regions of Germany
September | September
- September 29 | Michaelmas (Michaelis (das), der Michaelistag) - Feast of St. Michael the Archangel
- September | Oktoberfest (Oktoberfest) - In Munich. Two-week celebration beginning in late Sept. and ending on the first Sunday in October. (Sept. 17-Oct. 3, 2011, 17 days!) More…
- September | Thanksgiving (Erntedank) in the German-speaking countries takes place on various dates from September to November, depending on the location. The Thanksgiving observance in German-speaking Europe is not a legal holiday. More...
2013 Germany USA Einstein Calendar
From AboutGerman.net in PDF format: A printable German-style calendar with quotations by Albert Einstein, German and North American holidays – plus the birthdays of notable Austrian, German and Swiss people, past and present. Download the full year or individual months. Includes an optional 14-page informational/biographical supplement. More...
October | Oktober
- October 3* | German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) - Germany’s national holiday commemorates the official date of German reunification, as specified in the 1990 Unification Treaty (Einigungsvertrag). > More...
- October 3 | Oktoberfest ends (in 2011) - Originally the celebration of a royal wedding, Munich’s 16-day beer festival runs until the first Sunday in October (17 days in 2011; 2012: Sept. 22-Oct. 7). > More...
- October 26* | National Day (Nationalfeiertag, Austria) - Since 1965. The day was earlier known as Tag der Fahne (Flag Day, 1955-1964).
- October 31 | Reformation Day (Reformationstag) - Only in Protestant regions of Germany and Switzerland
- October 31 | Halloween is celebrated more and more in Germany and Europe. More…
- October | Thanksgiving (Erntedank) in the German-speaking countries takes place on various dates from September to November, depending on the location. The Thanksgiving observance in German-speaking Europe is not a legal holiday. More...
November | November
- November 1 | All Saints Day (Allerheiligen) is observed in Austria and the Catholic regions of Germany and Switzerland.
- November 2 | All Souls Day (Allerseelen) is observed in Austria and the Catholic regions of Germany and Switzerland.
- November 9 | Berlin Wall Day (der Fall der Mauer) - On this day in 1989 the Berlin Wall, built in 1961, finally began to disappear — concrete section by concrete section.
- November 9 | Night of Broken Glass (Kristallnacht) - On this night in 1938, the Nazis carried out a vicious pogrom against German Jews and Jewish institutions.
- November 11 | Carnival (Fasching, Karneval) - The carnival season officially begins at 11 minutes past the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. The start of the pre-Lenten (Mardi Gras) season. See Carnival and Mardi Gras, German Style and Movable Feasts (below) for more.
- November 11 | St. Martin’s Day (Martinstag) - See Halloween and Martinstag for more.
- November | National Day of Mourning (Volkstrauertag)
In November on the Sunday two weeks prior to the first Advent Sunday. In memory of Nazi victims and the dead in both world wars. Similar to Veteran's Day or Memorial Day in the US.
- November | Day of Repentance and Prayer (Buß- und Bettag)
On the Wednesday prior to Nov. 25. Since 1995, this holiday is observed only in Saxony and is only a school holiday in Bavaria.
- November | Thanksgiving (Erntedank) in the German-speaking countries takes place on various dates from September to November, depending on the location. The Thanksgiving observance in German-speaking Europe is not a legal holiday. More...
December | Dezember
- December | Advent (Advent) - The four Sundays leading up to Christmas.
- December 4 | Saint Barbara’s Day (Barbaratag) has an interesting tradition of cherry branches (Barbarazweig) brought indoors to bloom in winter, based on the Barbara legend.
- December 6 | St. Nicholas Day - Nikolaustag is when children receive small gifts from Saint Nicholas (not Santa!) left on the night of December 5.
- December 24 | Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) is when families gather around the Christmas tree and exchange gifts in Germany and most of Europe.
- December 25* | Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag)
- December 26* | Boxing Day (zweiter Weihnachtstag) is also a holiday in most of Europe.
- December 31 | New Year’s Eve (Silvester) is observed with fireworks! The time around New Year’s Eve in Germany features the unusual custom of “Dinner for One,” a British stage skit (in English) shown on German TV.
MORE > Holiday Calendar - Part 1 (January-June)
Movable Feasts | Bewegliche Feste
Holidays and observances that do not fall on a fixed date.
- Palm Sunday (Palmsonntag) - The Sunday before Easter
- Good Friday (Karfreitag) - The Friday before Easter; an official holiday in Catholic regions
- Easter (Ostern) - Easter falls on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon (differs in the eastern and western churches).
- Easter Monday* (Ostermontag) - The Monday after Easter; a legal holiday
- Whitsunday (Pfingstsonntag) - The seventh Sunday after Easter. Also called Pentecost in English.
- Whitmonday (Pfingstmontag)
- Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) - The Thursday 40 days after Easter
- Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) - Monday is the big day for Karneval in the Rhineland. - See Carnival and Mardi Gras, German Style for more.
- Carnival - Mardi Gras (Fasching, Karneval) - The Lenten season officially begins in November at 11 minutes past the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month, but the date for (Fasching (Austria, southern Germany) or Karneval (the Rhineland, northern Germany) depends on Easter.
- Ash Wednesday (Aschermittwoch) - The Wednesday after Mardi Gras (Fasching); the beginning of Lent
- Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) - On a Thursday in May or June. A public holiday in Austria and Catholic parts of Germany, Switzerland; Thursday following Trinity Sunday (the Sunday after Pentecost).
Also see Oh the many holidays in our GW Expat Blog.