Public Holidays

Public holidays in Germany

In the Christian world, most holidays are based on Easter or Christmas. But in other countries far away from home, there are enough reasons to celebrate.

Not all holidays are prescribed by law — and those that are do not mean a day off in all parts of Germany. Rather, it often depends on the respective parts of the country whether the holiday is also a day off. In most industries, for example, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are half a day off. Neither of these are public holidays.

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Non-floating holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

Jan. 1stNew Year's Day
Jan. 6thEpiphany
May 1stLabor Day
Aug. 8thPeace festival (only Augsburg)
Aug. 15thAssumption Day
Oct. 3rdDay of German Unity
Oct. 31stReformation's Day
Nov. 1stAll Saints' Day
Nov. 2ndAll Souls' Day
Dec. 8thImmaculate conception
Dec. 24thChristmas Eve
Dec. 25thChristmas Day
Dec. 26thBoxing Day
Dec. 31stNew Year's Eve

Moving Holidays in Germany

Womens Carnival DayFeb. 16thFeb. 8thFeb. 27thFeb. 12thFeb. 4th
Green MondayFeb. 20thFeb. 12thMarch 3rdFeb. 16thFeb. 8th
Ash WednesdayFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18thFeb. 10th
Maundy ThursdayApril 6thMarch 28thApril 17thApril 2ndMarch 25th
Good FridayApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rdMarch 26th
Holy SaturdayApril 8thMarch 30thApril 19thApril 4thMarch 27th
Easter SundayApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5thMarch 28th
Easter MondayApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6thMarch 29th
Mother's DayMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10thMay 9th
Ascension of ChristMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14thMay 6th
Father's DayMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14thMay 6th
Whit SundayMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24thMay 16th
Whit MondayMay 29thMay 20thJune 9thMay 25thMay 17th
Corpus ChristiJune 8thMay 30thJune 19thJune 4thMay 27th
Remembrance DayNov. 19thNov. 17thNov. 16thNov. 15thNov. 14th
Day of Prayer and RepentanceNov. 22ndNov. 20thNov. 19thNov. 18thNov. 17th
Sunday in commemoration of the deadNov. 26thNov. 24thNov. 23rdNov. 22ndNov. 21st

Christmas on December 24

Public Holidays Germany is one of the few countries whose main Christmas day is not December 25th, but the 24th. In ancient times, one day ended with sunset, so from a historical point of view, "Christmas Eve" actually belongs to the next day. In Germany, as well as in some other countries (e.g. Switzerland, Austria, Argentina, Hungary and Scandinavia), the giving of presents takes place during this evening. In the English speaking countries, this happens one day later on Boxing Day.

Special Catholic regulations

Germany is a country with an enormous Christian population. Protestants and Catholics have comparable shares of just under 30 percent each. In order not to deprive Catholics of their important holidays, numerous special regulations for individual holidays have been established. For example, the Day of Prayer and Repentance and also the Assumption of the Virgin Mary are school holidays in all of Bavaria, but they are only public holidays in a few communities. Corpus Christi is a public holiday only in some communities of Thuringia and Saxony. All Saints' Day plays no special role in the calendar of the northern and eastern federal states. Conversely, Reformation Day on October 31 is only free by law in the predominantly Protestant states. The bottom line is that there are more holidays in Catholic areas than in the predominantly Protestant ones.

Day of German Unity

Compared to other countries, the German national holiday has gone through turbulent times and has been postponed many times. The first day that resembled a national holiday, but was not yet a national holiday from a legal point of view, was January 18th, in honor of the Prussian coronation of the king in 1701. September 2nd followed from 1873 on, commemorating the capitulation of the French army in 1870. In the Weimar Republic, August 11 was chosen as constitution day. In National Socialism, May 1 was established as the "holiday of national labor." During the division of Germany, June 17 was considered a national day in the West, while in the East, the day of the founding of the state (1949) was celebrated on October 7. It was not until reunification in 1990 that we arrived at the present day October 3.
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