Living in Germany? Here’s a list of all the German public holidays you need to know in 2020, as well as other important dates to make a note of on your calendar.
Whether you’re living in Germany or just visiting, it’s important to note the dates of Germany’s public holidays and important dates. This is because on some of these dates, businesses and public institutions will close or have reduced hours.
To ensure you don’t miss out on anything important, our guide puts together a list of Germany’s public holidays and important dates for your calendar.
Introduction to German public holidays
There are nine official public holidays in Germany that are celebrated nationally each year, alongside regional holidays that are only celebrated in certain German states. This means that some German states have more German holidays than others; lucky citizens can enjoy up to 13 days of German public holidays a year, one of the highest public holiday entitlements in Europe.
Many of the German bank holidays are religious and date back centuries. A more recent holiday in Germany is the Day of German Unity celebrated on 3 October, which commemorates the anniversary of German reunification in 1990. You can see which national holidays in Germany coincide with Germany’s top festivals, which are a great way to experience German culture and sample regional German food, particularly during the colourful carnival in Germany.
Besides German Unity Day, holidays in Germany are determined by the federal states. If a German holiday falls on a weekend, the German national holiday is not typically transferred to a weekday. Many businesses – but not police stations or hospitals – close during national holidays in German and regional public holidays.
German public holidays 2020
(N) = National (R) = Regional
- Wednesday, 1 January: New Year’s Day (Neujahrstag) (N)
- Monday, 6 January: Epiphany (Heilige Drei Könige) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt
- Friday, 10 April: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (N)
- Monday, 13 April: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N)
- Friday, 1 May: Labour Day (Maifeiertag) (N)
- Thursday, 21 May: Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt, 40 days after Easter) (N)
- Monday, 1 June: Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) (N) – seventh Monday after Easter, also called Pentecost Monday
- Thursday, 11 June: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, and some local authorities in Saxony and Thuringia
- Saturday, 8 August: Peace Festival (Freidenfest) (R) – Bavaria (Augsburg)
- Saturday, 15 August: Assumption Day (Maria Himmelfahrt) (R) – Saarland and some local authorities in Bavaria
- Saturday, 3 October: Day of German Unity (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) (N)
- Saturday, 31 October: Reformation Day (Reformationstag) (N) – typically a regional holiday in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and parts of Thuringia.
- Sunday, 1 November: All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen) (R) – Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland
- Wednesday, 18 November: Day of Prayer and Repentance (Buß-und Bettag, Wednesday before 23 November) (R) – Saxony
- Friday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N)
- Saturday, 26 December: St Stephen’s Day (Stephanstag) (N) – also known as the second day of Christmas
Important dates in Germany 2020
- Monday, 24 February: Shrove Monday
- Tuesday, 25 February: Shrove Tuesday/Carnival
- Wednesday, 26 February: Ash Wednesday/Carnival
- Sunday, 29 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts
- Sunday, 10 May: Mother’s Day (second Sunday of May)
- Thursday, 21 May: Father’s Day (Vatertag, also known as Männertag/Herrentag, Men’s Day) – coincides with Ascension Day and can be a family celebration or celebrated by an outing with male friends
- Saturday, 12 September: German Language Day
- Sunday, 13 September: European Heritage Days – when monument buildings are opened to the public
- Saturday, 19 September: Oktoberfest starts
- Sunday, 25 October: Clocks go back one hour as daylight saving time (DST) ends
- Monday, 9 November: Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Wednesday, 11 November: St Martin’s Day – a religious observance where children take part in lantern processions
- Sunday, 15 November: National Day of Mourning – victims of war are remembered and in some regions music or dance events are prohibited
- Sunday, 6 December: Saint Nicholas Day
- Sunday, 21 June and Monday, 21 December: Solstices – longest and shortest days of the year
German school holidays
See our guide to school holidays in Germany.