February 20, 2023
min read

German Public Holidays in 2023

Eli McGarvie
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Germany is a country that takes pride in its rich history and cultural heritage. German holidays are a great way to experience this culture, as they celebrate important historical events, religious occasions, and traditions that are still significant today.

RELATED: Public Holidays in Berlin

Types of German holidays

There are a few different types of holidays in Germany that are worth mentioning:

German public holidays

In Germany, there are nine public holidays that are celebrated nationwide. These include New Year's Day, Easter Monday, Labor Day, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. In addition, there are regional holidays, which are only celebrated in certain regions or states.

German religious holidays

Germany is predominantly a Christian country, so many of its holidays are based on religious observances. Some of the most significant religious holidays in Germany include Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas. During these holidays, many Germans attend church services and spend time with their families.

Easter in Germany

Easter (Ostern) is one of the most popular holidays celebrated in Germany, second only to the Christmas season. Easter in Germany is from April 7 - April 10, 2023. Good Friday (Karfreitag) and Easter Monday (Ostermontag) are public holidays — so you can expect to get paid leave on those two days as you enjoy a long weekend. 

Cultural holidays

Germany has a rich cultural history, and its holidays reflect this. For example, Oktoberfest (Sep 16 – Oct 3) is a world-famous festival that celebrates German culture, music, and food. Other cultural holidays include Karneval (Feb 16 – Feb 22), which is celebrated in some regions of Germany, and St. Martin's Day (Nov 11), which is celebrated with parades and lantern processions.

Significance of Holidays

Each holiday in Germany has a unique significance that is rooted in the country's history, religion, or culture. For example, Oktoberfest originated in Munich in 1810 as a celebration of a royal wedding. Today, it is an internationally recognised festival that attracts millions of visitors every year.

List of holidays in Germany

Date Holiday Local name Day
January 1 New Years’ Day Neujahr Sunday
January 6 Three Kings Day Heilige Drei Könige Friday
March 8 Women's Day Frauentag Wednesday
April 7 Good Friday Karfreitag Friday
April 9 Easter Sunday Ostersonntag Sunday
April 10 Easter Monday Ostermontag Monday
May 1 Labour Day Tag der Arbeit Monday
May 18 Ascension Day Christi Himmelfahrt Thursday
May 28 Whitsunday Pfingstsonntag Sunday
May 29 Whitmonday Pfingstmontag Monday
June 8 Corpus Christi Fronleichnam Thursday
August 15 Assumption Day Mariä Himmelfahrt Tuesday
September 20 World Children's Day Weltkindertag Wednesday
October 3 German Unification Day Tag der Deutschen Einheit Tuesday
October 31 Reformation Day Reformationstag Tuesday
November 1 All Saints’ Day Allerheiligen Wednesday
November 22 Day of Repentance
& Prayer
Buß- und Bettag Wednesday
December 25 Christmas Day Erster Weihnachtstag Monday
December 26 Boxing Day Zweiter Weihnachtstag Tuesday

Informal holidays

Karneval • Feb 16 – Feb 22, 2023
Maifest (Mayfest) • May 1st, 202
Muttertag (Mother’s Day) • May 14, 2023
Vatertag (same as Ascension Day) • May 18, 2023
Oktoberfest • Sep 16 – Oct 3, 2023
Martinstag (St. Martin's Day) • Nov 11, 2023

How public holidays work in Germany

In Germany, public holidays mean most businesses are closed, just like Sundays. Employees get the day off and are still paid. The holidays celebrated depend on the state where you work, not where you live. Each German state has different public holidays; for example, Women's Day is a public holiday in Berlin, but not Epiphany or Corpus Christi. Bavaria has 13 public holidays, while Berlin only has 10. On Sundays in Berlin, some businesses are open.

RELATED: Austrian Public Holidays
Swiss Public Holidays
Netherlands Public Holidays

German Public Holidays in 2023

February 20, 2023
min read

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