Public holidays in Germany 2016
Here is a list of public holidays in Germany 2016, plus regional holidays, daylight savings, school holidays, Mother's and Father's Days and other important dates in the German calendar.
If you're living in Germany, mark your calendar with the below important dates of German public holidays. There are nine official German public holidays that are celebrated nationally each year, plus regional holidays that are only celebrated in certain Federal states. This means that some states have more holidays than others; lucky citizens can enjoy up to 13 days of public holidays a year, one of the highest public holiday entitlements in Europe.
Many of the public holidays are religious and date back centuries. A more recent holiday is the Day of German Unity on 3 October, which commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. You can see which public holidays coincide with Germany's top festivals, which are a great way to experience German culture.
Many businesses – but not police stations or hospitals – close during national and regional public holidays.
Official public holidays in Germany 2016
(N) = National (R) = Regional
- January 1: New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag) (N)
- January 6: Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
- March 25: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (N)
- March 28: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N)
- May 1: Labour Day (Maifeiertag) (N)
- May 5: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt, 40 days after Easter) (N)
- May 16: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) (N) – also known as Pentecost Monday.
- May 26: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and some local authorities in Saxony and Thuringia.
- August 8: Peace Festival (R) – Bavaria
- August 15: Assumption Day (Maria Himmelfahrt) (R) – Saarland and some local authorities in Bavaria.
- October 3: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) (N)
- October 31: Reformation Day (Reformationstag) (R) – Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and parts of Thuringia.
- November 1: All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.
- November 16: Day of Prayer and Repentance (Buß-und Bettag, Wednesday before November 23) (R) – Saxony.
- December 25: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N)
- December 26: Boxing Day/St Stephen’s Day (Stephanstag) (N) – also known as the second day of Christmas.
Other important dates
- February 8: Shrove Monday
- February 9: Shrove Tuesday/Carnival
- February 10: Ash Wednesday/Carnival
- March 27: Daylight saving time (DST) starts – clocks go forward one hour.
- May 5: Father's Day (Vatertag, also known as Männertag, Men's Day, or Herrentag) – coincides with Ascension Day and can be a family celebration or even celebrated by an outing with male friends.
- May 8: Mother’s Day (second Sunday of May)
- September 17: Oktoberfest starts
- October 30: Daylight saving time (DST) ends – clocks go back one hour.
- November 11: St Martin’s Day – a religious observance where children take part in lantern processions.
- November 13: National Day of Mourning – victims of war are remembered and in some regions music or dance events are prohibited.
- December 6: St Nicholas Day
- June 20 and December 21: Solstices – longest and shortest days of the year
Each Federal state sets its own school calendar. You can find a list of the official portals of the 16 Federal states here.