Famous for its experimental film showcase, many film screenings take place here, followed by a Q&A session. Nearly 7 million liters of beer are consumed and more than a hundred wild oxen are grilled during the festival. People chew on thousands of roast chickens, grilled pork sausages and giant pretzels.
One of my favorite things about life in Germany is the sheer number of festivals. Most people have heard of Oktoberfest in Munich, but that’s the tip of the iceberg when it comes to multi-day historical theme moments in Germany. Every year in February, Berlin rolls out the red carpet to host the Berlin International Film Festival. More than 400 films from all over the world, parties, historical theaters and special events open to all film lovers. Next to Cannes and Venice, Berlinale is the most important film festival in Europe.
It all began more than two centuries ago, in 1810, and as a celebration of Bavarian tradition, serving only beer brewed within Munich’s city limits. It’s made specifically for this huge event and it’s very strong, so be careful: one cup equals eight shots of Schnapps. There’s plenty of German food included, including the usual sausages and pretzels, along with live music, song and dance. The festival revolves around pumpkin-related activities where you have the opportunity to sample some unique and excellent pumpkin treats and witness some impressive pumpkin sculptures.
The liveliest celebration takes place in Franconia, located in northern Bavaria. A highlight of the festival is the transfer of riverboats on the Elbe, the oldest and largest steamship fleet oktoberfest in the world. This will be a floating stage and festival-goers are invited to come on board. The climax is Dixieland’s parade through the city centre, culminating in a farewell jazz session.
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to miss too much. During the two weeks of Oktoberfest, Munich is flooded with festivities. You see people with their best dirndl and lederhosen drinking pints of beer almost everywhere.
In addition, the beer gardens are attached to all large tents and offer you some fresh air and a more informal and conversational atmosphere than in the tents. Karneval in Cologne is one of the largest German street festivals with parades, brass bands, dance sessions and much more. In 2019, the Reeperbahn Festival was attended by 53,000 visitors and more than 5,000 professional guests from all over the world. The festival was first held in 1810 in honor of the marriage of bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. ©iStock.com/LeoMalsamMarry hundreds of thousands of pumpkins and a Baroque palace, and you have the beautiful Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival (Kürbisausstellung Ludwigsburg). This fun event takes place every fall, transforming the elegant grounds of Ludwigsburg Palace into imaginative scenes.
By speaking someone’s language, you learn about them, their culture, and their ideas. Breaking the language barrier bridges cultural differences, fosters a world of inclusion, and is a first step in helping address humanity’s challenges. On January 6, Germans commemorate the revelation of God incarnate in the form of man, Jesus Christ. Children dress up as the “three wise men” of the Christmas tradition and travel to people’s homes to sing to them, bringing them happiness for the year ahead.
In addition, the festival was first held in 1810 in honor of the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Theresa von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. There is a large community of people who like to recreate historical events from the Viking Age to the Rococo, but the largest number of festivals focus on the Middle Ages. Almost every city in Germany has its own festival to celebrate everything from the local Altstadt to local guilds and every industry that puts your city on the map. Schwäbisch Hall, for example, was famous for its natural brine spring, and they celebrate historic salt workers each year at their Kuchen- und Brennenfest in early June. There are harbour festivals, fish festivals, harvest festivals, for every moment of the year there is a festival somewhere. In autumn, in the north, you can take part in many different Grünkohl festivals, with live music and special walks around the farm.
Perhaps the largest international film festival in the world, Berlinale was first held in 1978. This film and music festival in Germany showcases some of the world’s most elite film talents in all genres. Berlinale, however, is slightly different from the other film festivals. With more than 400 films screened; all competing for 20 prizes called Golden or Silver Bears, the Berlinale Film Festival is a festival in Germany not to be missed. Gaubodenvolksfest is a beer/agricultural festival dating back to 1812. Only breweries in the district can serve beer and it is brewed especially for the event.
It is the celebration of carnival in the northwestern region of Germany. Fasching represents the celebrations in Austria and southern Germany. The spirit of the festival reflects the location where you are staying. Currently scheduled for a comeback after a hiatus in 2021, the festival had at one point claimed to be Germany’s biggest dance festival. If you fancy a lakeside getaway, like your scene when you’re attending a big festival, Sea You, erm, is for you. The “Republic of the Beach” is a fantastic weekend on the shores of Lake Tunisee (“see” in German translates as “Sea”).