Public holidays in Germany

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Except for the national holiday (German Unity Day), public holidays in Germany (gesetzliche Feiertage) are determined by the federal states.

Holiday Local name (in German) Date Baden-Württemberg Bavaria Berlin Brandenburg Bremen (state) Hamburg Hesse Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Lower Saxony North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland-Palatinate Saarland Saxony Saxony-Anhalt Schleswig-Holstein Thuringia
New Year's Day Neujahrstag 1 January YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Epiphany Heilige Drei Könige 6 January YesY YesY YesY
Good Friday Karfreitag Easter Sunday - 1/2d YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Easter Monday Ostermontag Easter Sunday + 1/2d YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Labor Day Tag der Arbeit 1 May YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Ascension Day Christi Himmelfahrt Easter Sunday + 39d YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Whit Monday Pfingstmontag Easter Sunday + 50d YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Corpus Christi Fronleichnam Easter Sunday + 60d YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY (1) (2)
Peace Festival Friedensfest 8 August (3)
Assumption Day Mariä Himmelfahrt 15 August (5) (7) YesY
German Unity Day (6) Tag der Deutschen Einheit 3 October YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Reformation Day Reformationstag 31 October YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
All Saints Allerheiligen 1 November YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Day of Repentance and Prayer (4) Buß- und Bettag Wed. before 23 November YesY
Christmas Day Weihnachtstag 25 December YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
St Stephen's Day / Boxing Day Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag 26 December YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY YesY
Total number of holidays per state (8) 12 13 9 10 9 9 10 10 9 11 11 12 11 11 9 10

Notes:

YesY - public holiday is celebrated in that state.
(1) Public holiday only in few Sorbian communities.
(2) Public holiday only in the Catholic district of Eichsfeld.
(3) Public holiday only in the city of Augsburg.
(4) Public holiday in all states until 1994. The holiday was discontinued with introduction of nursing care insurance. Saxony is the only state where employers do not have to pay for nursing care insurance (paid by employees in that state) and where the holiday is still kept.
(5) Public holiday only in approx. 1700 communities with predominantly Catholic population and in the cities of Augsburg and Munich.
(6) National holiday since 1990, commemorating German reunification on that date. Formerly 17 June in West Germany, commemorating the Workers' Uprising of 1953 in East Germany, also known as the "Day of German Unity". East Germany's national day was 7 October, the founding of the state in 1949.
(7) Schools are closed all over the state on that day.
(8) For states where some holidays are not observed uniformly all over the state, such holidays are included in state's total number of holidays if celebration of those holidays is predominant and widespread in that state:
  • Bavaria: with Assumption Day, without Peace Festival.
  • Saxony and Thuringia: without Corpus Christi.

Good Friday and Holy Saturday are so-called "quiet days" (stille Tage), when certain restrictions apply, as defined by local state authorities. An example of this is the ban on dancing on Good Friday, which is observed in almost all German states.

Custom about holidays[edit]

Either Carnival Monday ("Rose Monday") or Mardi Gras is a de facto holiday in some towns and cities in Catholic western and southern Germany which have a strong Carnival tradition.

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) and Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) are both always on Thursdays. By taking only one day's leave, employees can have a four-day weekend.

The Three Kings Day, better known as Epiphany, is 6 January, the day after the 12 days of Christmas. In parts of Germany, it has its own local customs.

Public holidays in the former German Democratic Republic[edit]

Holiday Local name Date Remarks
New Year Neujahr 1 January
Good Friday Karfreitag Easter Sunday - 2d
Easter Monday Ostermontag Easter Sunday + 1d until 1967 and in 1990
Labor Day Internationaler Kampf- und Feiertag
der Werktätigen für Frieden und Sozialismus
1 May
Day of Liberation Tag der Befreiung 8 May until 1967 and in 1985
Day of Victory Tag des Sieges 9 May only in 1975
Ascension Day Christi Himmelfahrt Easter Sunday + 39d until 1967 and in 1990
Whit Monday Pfingstmontag Easter Sunday + 50d
Day of the Republic Tag der Republik 7 October
Reformation Day Reformationstag 31 October until 1966
Octoberfest Oktoberfest Late September-Early October
Day of Repentance and Prayer Buß- und Bettag Wed. before 23 November until 1966
Christmas Day 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag 25 December
St Stephen's Day / Boxing Day 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag 26 December

See also[edit]