Public holidays and festivities

Not all public holidays in Germany apply to the entire federal territory. In addition to 9 uniformly regulated public holidays, each federal state also determines its own holidays, not necessarily applicable in other parts of Germany. In Bavaria e.g. Catholic holidays are very important. This means that Bavaria has a total of 13 public holidays, the highest number in a nationwide comparison (Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg only each have 9 public holidays).

Companies, universities and official offices are usually closed on public holidays. Public transport runs according to the Sunday schedule.

National holidays

1. January- New Year

Good Friday & Easter Monday
Easter (Good Friday to Easter Monday) is the feast of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is one of the most important Christian holidays in Germany and Bavaria.

Ascension of Christ
in the Christian faith it denotes the return of Jesus Christ as Son of God to his Father in heaven. It is celebrated on the 40th day of Easter time, meaning 39 days after Easter Sunday, and therefore always falls on a Thursday.

Whit Monday
This Christian holiday denotes the end of Easter time.

1. May – Labour Day
Labor Day, also known as the International Workers‘ Day or simply May Day, is the day of the labor movement. Among others, May 1st is also a public holiday in parts of Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Poland and China.

3. October – German Unity Day
On German Unity Day, the reunification between the GDR and the FRG after four decades of division has been celebrated since 1990. At the time of reunification, the six GDR states Brandenburg, Berlin, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-West Pomerania joined the Federal Republic of Germany.

Public holidays in Bavaria

In addition to the national holidays, there are the following public holidays in Bavaria:

6. January - Epiphany
Epiphany means something like "Appearance (of the Lord)". It is the Christian feast of the Three Magi (also called "the wise men from the Orient") Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, who gave gifts to the newborn child Jesus. On that day, the current year and the letters C + M + B (the first letters of the names of the Magi) are written in chalk on the doors of Catholic households as a symbolic blessing.

June – Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi takes place 10 days after Pentecost and always on a Thursday. On this day the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist (i.e. the bread changed into the body of Jesus Christ and the wine changed into his blood) is celebrated. That day, magnificent processions take place in many Bavarian towns, with the processions in Ruhpolding and Altötting being particularly recommended. The only lake procession on the Staffelsee near Murnau approx. 70 km south of Munich is one of the high points on Corpus Christi.

1. November – All Saints‘ Day
On this day the saints and the decased are remembered. Graves are visited by families and decorated with wreaths and lights (often candles).

Quiet days

In addition, there are so-called "quiet days" in Bavaria, on which public entertainment events are prohibited in order to appreciate the serious nature of these days. The following days are determined as silent days:

Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the 40-day Lent (Passion Time) before Easter in the Christian denomination of the Western Church. The name of the day comes from the custom of marking the worshipping believers on this day with a cross made from the consecrated ashes of the burned palm branches from the previous year.

Maundy Thursday
In Christian tradition, the day before Good Friday commemorates the last supper of Jesus with his 12 apostles. The word "green" in this case does not refer to the color, but to "whine", the old word for mourning or crying.

Volkstrauertag (German for „People’s Day of Mourning“ or Memorial Day)
This national day of remembrance has been celebrated two Sundays before Advent since 1952 and commemorates the war dead and victims of the tyranny. On this occasion there is a yearly memorial hour in the German Bundestag with a speech by the Federal President.

Sunday of the Dead/ Eternity Sunday
This day is a day of remembrance for the deceased in the Protestant churches in Germany and Switzerland and falls on the last Sunday before Advent.

Day of Prayer and Repentance
The evangelical day of penance and prayer takes place on the Wednesday before November 23rd - eleven days before the first Sunday of Advent. The holiday comes from the tradition of calling citizens to prayers, repentance and rest in times of danger.

Further quiet days are the Good Friday, Holy Saturday, All Saints‘ Day and Christmas Eve.

Festivals and Festivities

Besides national and public holidays there are also several important festivities:

Also known as Shrovetide or Fifth Season is the celebration period before the forty-day Lent, which begins with Ash Wednesday. The carnival in Munich is not the most famous in Germany, but it also boasts of a tradition of over 100 years and is celebrated with carnival parades and costume balls.

The maypole
A maypole is a decorated tree or tree trunk that is erected on May 1st in many German federal states as well as in other countries in Central and Northern Europe. The Bavarian maypole is painted with a white and blue spiral and is often decorated with emblems from associations or guilds - or, like the maypole on the campus oft he Garching Forschungszentrum - with symbols of the TUM departments. The erection of the maypole i soften accompanied by village or town festival.

(vernacular d’Wiesn) in Munich is the world's largest folk festival, which has been held annually on Munich’s Theresienwiese since 1810. The Oktoberfest has long been attracting millions of visitors every year, and more and more of them come from abroad, mainly from Italy, the USA, Japan and Australia. Festive tents are set up on Theresienwiese, where the tables usually have to be reserved well in advance. Many Oktoberfest visitors come in traditional costume (lederhosen or dirndl), before 6 p.m. only traditional brass music is played. Mainly hearty Bavarian dishes are eaten and the special, stronger beer is sold, which contains 5.8 to 6.4 percent alcohol and is mainly sold in 1 liter mugs (Maß). Only beer from traditional Munich breweries may be served at the Wiesn. In addition to festival tents, there is a lively fairground at the Wiesn, with stalls and attractions for young and old, such as the ferris wheel and carousels.

The Kocherlball is a folk dance event that takes place once a year on a Sunday in July from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Chinese Tower in the English Garden in Munich. In the 19th century, up to 5,000 Munich domestic workers (cooks, errand boys, nannies, house servants, etc.) met there early every Sunday morning in summer when the weather was nice, before they had to go back to work.

St. Martin’s Day
St. Martin's Day is the feast of St. Martin of Tours on November 11th. On this day, different customs take place in Central Europe, such as eating St. Martin's goose dinner, St. Martin's singing and the St. Martin's procession, also called lantern run, in which children often participate with hand-made lanterns.

In Christianity, Latin adventus "arrival" designates the season of preparation for the feast of the birth of Jesus Christ, Christmas. The Advent season begins on the first Advent and ends on Christmas Eve. It lasts between 22 and 28 days, but always includes four Sundays, on which one ritually lights another candle on an Advent wreath every Advent Sunday.

The most famous Dult (festive fair in southeast Germany) is now the Auer Dult, which takes place three times a year for nine days on Mariahilfplatz in Munich's Au district. The first dult, the so-called Maidult, begins on the Saturday before May 1st and starts the city's festival and market season. The second, the Jakobidult, takes place in July and the third Dult on the weekend before the Parish Fair.

Parish Fair/ Kermesse
Also called Kirta or Kirmes, a firm Bavarian tradition in which the consecration of a church is officially celebrated every year. In many areas of Bavaria, the third Sunday in October is anchored in the festival calendar as a church day. A Parish Fair often becomes a big festival with traditional dances and lavish, traditional food.

The Tollwood Festival is a Munich festival that has been taking place every six months since 1988 in the Olympiapark (summer) and on the Theresienwiese (winter). In addition to a very broad musical spectrum of rock, songwriters, jazz and blues, there is also a wide program of theater performances and artistic performances. A special feature is the bio-certified festival gastronomy.