Festivals, funfairs and the traditional German volksfest

Celebrations in Germany are as abundant as they are varied – from the carnival on the Rhine to wine festivals, from smaller events in the towns and countryside to the two biggest volksfest celebrations held anywhere in the world. Many have a long tradition and show how history can be brought vividly to life.

Boasting Germany's biggest wine procession, the German Grape Harvest Festival in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse is the highpoint of the German wine festival season. As well as marvelling at the parade, you can witness the election and coronation of the Palatinate and German wine queens, sample offerings from Germany's thirteen wine growing regions at the German Wine and Sekt Fair, and enjoy wine and delicious Palatinate food in the Haiselscher, the festival's own wine village. There's also a wonderful funfair with lots of fairground rides.

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Every year on 21 February, bonfires are lit all along Schleswig-Holstein's North Sea coast . – on the mainland, the islands and the Hallig islets – to drive away the winter in accordance with an ancient Frisian custom. There's much singing, dancing and drinking, then once the fires have died down, everyone heads to the inns and taverns to celebrate with a meal of curly kale, which may not be an ancient custom – but is definitely warming and delicious!

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