Public Holidays in Germany 2016

Most of the public holidays in Germany are determined by the federal states, excepting the national holiday German Unity Day, which has been celebrated each year since the Treaty of Unification that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall. This holiday has a very important significance to all the Germans, and therefore, they value the day 3rd of October. Besides the German Unity Day, all the other holidays that are celebrated throughout the country are called de facto holidays.

Below are the official non-working public national and regional holidays in Germany, announced by the government for the 2016 calendar year:

1 January 2016, Friday – New Year’s Day / Neujahrstag
The first public holiday that is celebrated this year in Germany is the New Year’s Day, and it’s a de facto holiday, being celebrated in all states. Germans celebrate this holiday by throwing big parties and cooking traditional food. It’s also called Silvester, and it’s usually accompanied by the German sparkling wine.

6 January 2016, Wednesday – Epiphany / Heilige Drei Könige (Only in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt )
January is also the month of Epiphany, which is celebrated on the date of 6th January. However, this public holiday is not celebrated throughout the entire nation, but only in Baden-Wuttemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt. It commemorates the journey of the magi, which are also known as the three wise men who followed the shining star to visit baby Jesus. During this time of the year churches and people set up a nativity scene.

25 March 2016, Friday – Good Friday / Karfreitag

28 March 2016, Monday – Easter Monday / Ostermontag
Easter is a very important and popular holiday in Germany, and therefore Christians have weekend-long festivities in order to celebrate it.

1 May 2016, Sunday – International Workers’ Day / Tag der Arbeit
Also known as Labor Day, it is celebrated each year on 1st of May, having the purpose of commemorating working individuals. With this occasion there is a big Labor Day march in the capital city, which is assisted by many political activists.

5 May 2016, Thursday – Ascension Day / Christi Himmelfahrt

16 May 2016, Monday – Whit Monday / Pfingstmontag

26 May 2016, Thursday – Corpus Christi / Fronleichnam (Only in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland )

15 August 2016, Monday – Assumption Day / Mariä Himmelfahrt (Only in Bavaria, Saarland )

3 October 2016, Monday – German Unity Day 6 / Tag der Deutschen Einheit

31 October 2016, Monday – Reformation Day / Reformationstag (Only in Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia )

1 November 2016, Tuesday – All Saints Day / Allerheiligen

16 November 2016, Wednesday – Day of Repentance and Prayer 4 / Buß- und Bettag (Only in Saxony)

26 December 2016, Sunday – Christmas Day / Weihnachtstag

26 December 2016, Monday – St Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day / Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag

Terms: public holidays

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