For three days in May, the people of Hamburg celebrate one another, their city and in particular their port, the largest sea port in Germany. The Port Anniversary is devoted to seafarers, ships and every other maritime theme, with the whole of Hamburg honouring its great seafaring tradition through this lively festival, the biggest port festival anywhere in the world.
When Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa granted Hamburg a charter on 7 May 1189 allowing merchants to transport goods down the Elbe to the North Sea without paying customs duties, he probably never imagined that he was establishing one of the world's largest and most important ports. Even today Hamburg's citizens still associate this date in history with the founding of their port, and they – plus up to a million visitors – honour it with a huge festival that has taken place on or around 7 May every year since 1977. The festivities open with a grand flotilla of tall ships and historical sailing vessels, then for the next three days there are exuberant celebrations all over the city, from the warehouse district to St. Pauli, with live performances on several stages and at many other venues. Other highpoints are the ever-popular dragon boat racing on the Elbe, the tug boat ballet and the spectacular fireworks display on the Saturday evening. Another parade of ships brings the festival to a close on the Sunday, when the Hammonia, Hamburg's unofficial anthem, is sure to be heard more than once.
9.5.2014 - 11.5.2014
8.5.2015 - 10.5.2015
5.5.2016 - 8.5.2016
5.5.2017 - 7.5.2017
10.5.2018 - 13.5.2018
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