Public Holidays

Public holidays in Germany

In the Christian world, most holidays are based on Easter or Christmas. But also 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-movable 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. 24thFeb. 16thFeb. 8thFeb. 27thFeb. 12th
Green MondayFeb. 28thFeb. 20thFeb. 12thMarch 3rdFeb. 16th
Ash WednesdayMarch 2ndFeb. 22ndFeb. 14thMarch 5thFeb. 18th
Maundy ThursdayApril 14thApril 6thMarch 28thApril 17thApril 2nd
Good FridayApril 15thApril 7thMarch 29thApril 18thApril 3rd
Holy SaturdayApril 16thApril 8thMarch 30thApril 19thApril 4th
Easter SundayApril 17thApril 9thMarch 31stApril 20thApril 5th
Easter MondayApril 18thApril 10thApril 1stApril 21stApril 6th
Mother's DayMay 8thMay 14thMay 12thMay 11thMay 10th
Ascension of ChristMay 26thMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14th
Father's DayMay 26thMay 18thMay 9thMay 29thMay 14th
Whit SundayJune 5thMay 28thMay 19thJune 8thMay 24th
Whit MondayJune 6thMay 29thMay 20thJune 9thMay 25th
Corpus ChristiJune 16thJune 8thMay 30thJune 19thJune 4th
Remembrance DayNov. 13thNov. 19thNov. 17thNov. 16thNov. 15th
Day of Prayer and RepentanceNov. 16thNov. 22ndNov. 20thNov. 19thNov. 18th
Sunday in commemoration of the deadNov. 20thNov. 26thNov. 24thNov. 23rdNov. 22nd

Christmas on 24 December

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 that 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 on this evening. In the English speaking countries this happens one day later on Boxing Day.

Catholic special regulations

Germany is a country with an enormously high percentage of Christian population. Protestants and Catholics have comparable shares of just under 30% 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 also plays hardly any 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, which 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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