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Newsblog

From 6 to 9 June 2014 countless sails will be hoisted in the waters around Heligoland for North Sea Week (Nordseewoche), now in its 80th year. Around 1,500 sailing enthusiasts travel to Germany's only remote offshore island to seek victory in the regatta and entertain the crowds. North Sea Week is one of the biggest regatta events in Germany and the only one to take place out on the high seas.

Heligoland is an ideal destination for health and wellness, thanks not only to the mild maritime climate and the virtually pollen-free North Sea air, but also because the island is car-free so there are no emissions.

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2014 marks 1,200 years since the death of Charlemagne. In honour of this anniversary, the city of Aachen is running a special exhibition entitled 'Charlemagne – Power, Art, Treasure' from 20 June to 21 September 2014. The exhibition is split into three sections, which are on display in selected venues on the site of the Palace of Aachen, including the town hall, the Centre Charlemagne and the cathedral treasury. The year of Charlemagne also features a diverse programme of events that offers something for everyone.

Aachen Cathedral, the final resting place of Charlemagne, was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 1978, making it the first German monument to receive this accolade.

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With its Festival Perspectives, the city of Saarbrücken presents a series of unique events. From 22 to 31 May 2014 audiences can watch Franco-German performing arts live on stage in the Saarland. Unconventional venues such as former industrial facilities provide the backdrop for modern theatre, dance, street performances, circus acts and contemporary French music. International directors and fresh young talents will prove their artistic merit and dazzle audiences. Come and see for yourself!

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This year's Hamburg Ballet Festival will be presenting a series of productions at the Hamburg State Opera House from 29 June to 13 July. The festival features 15 ballet performances in total, including Romeo & Juliet and Othello, and opens with the premiere of John Neumeier's Tatiana. The event concludes with the grand Nijinsky Gala. Look out for John Neumeier productions of Liliom and Ballets for Piano and Voice, which come highly recommended.

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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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