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Hannover's annual International Firework Competition, now in its 24th year, is held at the magnificent Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen. On five evenings between May and September 2014, a different team will be choreographing the fireworks. This year's competitors come from the Czech Republic, England, Switzerland, Japan and Greece. The teams will be setting out to dazzle the panel of judges with their pyrotechnic displays and accompanying music, with the winner announced on the final evening.

Each night will also feature a programme of live music, variety entertainment, dance and theatre. Experience the magic and the sparkle of the oldest firework competition in Germany!

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From 21 June to 6 September 2014 the Baltic island of Rügen will be hosting the Störtebeker Festival. Held at the stunning open-air theatre in Ralswiek, it brings to life the adventures of the legendary pirate Klaus Störtebeker. More than 150 cast and crew, 30 horses, four ships, spectacular stunts and breathtaking special effects make this a theatre experience to remember. And to make your visit to the island of Rügen even more memorable, there is a firework display every evening above the Great Jasmund Lagoon.

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From 29 May to 1 June 2014 Emden will be hosting its 25th Matjes festival in celebration of this soused herring delicacy. The town on the North Sea coast looks back over a 450-year tradition in herring fishing. There will be delicious matjes dishes to try all around the harbour. The festival is a perfect opportunity to explore Emden, or there's the now traditional Matjeslauf running event.

Hooksiel is next up with its own herring festival from 7 to 9 June 2014, when you can sample a wide range of fish specialities in the seaside town. Another culinary highlight follows soon after in the shape of Hooksiel shrimp festival, on from 1 to 3 August 2014.

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The Hessentag, which first took place in 1961, is an annual festival that showcases the different regions of the federal state of Hessen and is held in a different town or city every year. Germany's oldest state fair will take place this year from 6 to 15 June in Bensheim. To this day, it continues to fulfil its original objective of bringing people together as a festival of integration.

The 2014 theme, which forms the basis for the varied programme, is the 'climate-neutral and connected city'. The festival has something for everyone, with young and old of different nationalities and from all walks of life celebrating together. Concerts by up-and-coming and established artists, countless events, activity areas and much more make this festival one to remember!

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If you have been looking for an unusual place to stay, then why not take a closer look at the treehouse at Schwerin Zoo? Located in the grounds of the zoo, it sleeps up to six people. Admission to the zoo and a snack breakfast are included in the price. Guests otherwise cater for themselves. It's also possible to book an unforgettable adventure tour as an optional extra. Availability is from March to October. Turn a visit to the zoo into a unique experience!

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Christopher Street Day has become a true institution and is now celebrated in many cities across Germany, including Dresden. A street festival, a demonstration, a brunch and parties are among the many different events taking place there between 24 May and 1 June 2014. This year's motto, 'A person 100%. No ifs, no buts', will also come to the fore in the political demonstration for LGBT rights. The demonstration, which takes place on 31 May, will pass through the city centre and Neustadt district of Dresden Be part of it all, soak up the atmosphere and celebrate diversity!

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Leipzigwill be hosting its annual Bach Festival from 13 to 22 June 2014 at various venues in the city. These include baroque churches, museums, the Gewandhaus concert hall and Leipzig Opera House. 'The True Art', the motto for this year's festival, marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. A number of concerts will pay tribute to this lesser known Bach.

As in previous years, there will be a festival pass that gives you 25 per cent off normal admission prices.

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The annual Brandenburg summer concerts have been bringing classical music to Brandenburg's cities and countryside for 24 years. Potsdam, Rheinsberg and Neuruppin will be among the locations hosting concerts between 7 June and 7 July 2014. This year's concert series will have special ties with the inaugural Brandenburg State Exhibition, entitled 'Prussia and Saxony – Scenes from a Relationship between Neighbours'. Alongside the musical components, the programme features many other cultural events such as a series of readings on Brandenburg's cultural history.

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Thuringia is home to an incomparable wealth of cultural heritage that attracts countless visitors year after year. In no other part of Germany will you find so many former royal residences so close together.

The Thüringer Schlössertage, on from 6 to 9 June 2014, will present the region's magnificent castles and palaces and their treasures, with a special focus on dining culture. Twelve castles and palaces will be hosting exciting tours, concerts informative talks and entertaining events for families.

This year's festival is centred around the culinary traditions of the Thuringian courts.

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From 24 April to 30 October 2014, visitors to Nuremberg will have the opportunity to take part in a new guided walk on the subject of the Reformation. The tour focuses on the complex relationship between personal beliefs and political decisions – and not only at the time of Martin Luther. It presents places in the city where the course of political and religious history was changed during the Reformation. Many cultural developments, including the notion that education is the responsibility of the state, originate from this time.

The tours start outside the youth hostel, take in the castle courtyard, the churches of St. Egidien and St. Sebaldus and the town hall, and end at Hauptmarkt square.

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