List of Traditional German Festivals
Germany not only celebrates Oktoberfest. Despite the image of seriousness that the countries in northern Europe sometimes have, Germans certainly know how to have a good time with various parties spread out throughout the year. If you want to know the traditional German festivals, carry on reading this article.
The international festival par excellence in Germany is undoubtedly Oktoberfest. An estimated 6 million people visit the city of Munich in southern Germany each year to consume huge quantities of beer in typical Masskrüge (one liter glasses), sausages and pretzels. It is accompanied by live music, groups of people singing happy songs and colorful traditional Bavarian costumes. It is also a tradition for men to present a heart made out of gingerbread with a love message to women as a gift. This heart has a string attached to its sides so women can wear it around their necks as a necklace.
This party has its origin in 1810 with the popular celebration of the wedding of king and queen Ludwig and Teresa, and has been repeated every year since then except when it has been prevented by armed conflicts.
The carnival is a traditional celebration in many German cities but especially in the southern regions, where there is a predominantly Catholic population. It begins on November 11 and ends on Ash Wednesday. It is especially relevant in cities like Duesseldorf, Mainz, Bonn and Cologne. Especially in this last one, where the big day is the Monday of Carnival, known as the "Rosenmontag". On this day many parades fill the streets of the city singing carnival songs, with the motto of Kölle Alaaf ("Cologne is for all" in the ancient local language).
Between May and November there are frequent wine or beer festivals in the German regions where there are lots of vines being grown, particularly in the Rhine, Mosel, Baden, Palatinate and along the River Main. Of course, large amounts of good wine are a must but it should always be accompanied with good food, concerts and a great atmosphere. There are parties of all kinds, depending on the importance of the place, lasting from a weekend to a whole week. The most famous Volksfest (people's party) in Germany is precisely Oktoberfest.
Christmas is celebrated with particular intensity in Germany, where markets are customary in the months of November and January. Carols, toys, candles, traditional Christmas decorations, hot wine to combat the cold (mulled wine), spiced bread, cakes, chestnuts... Despite the snow and low temperatures, Christmas is celebrated in style, both in the street and at home with the family.
Germans celebrate Saint Nicholas on the 6th of December. On this day, Nikolaus brings small presents to children if they have been good which are placed in a boot that the children have placed for this purpose the night before. In some regions it is Weinachtsman (Santa Claus) that brings the presents.
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