החל מהקרנבל לאורך הריין דרך חגי היין, חגיגות בערים, בכפרים ובשווקים ועד לשני החגים העממיים הגדולים בעולם - מבחר החגיגות בגרמניה עצום. חלק מחגים אלה נהנים ממסורת ארוכת שנים, והם ההוכחה לכך שההיסטוריה יכולה להיות מלאת חיים.
Just like Cologne and Düsseldorf , Mainz is a Rhineland carnival capital. The Mainz carnival procession on Rose Monday stretches for some 6.5 kilometres, making it one of the region's longest. The evening carnival show is broadcast live on German TV. Both events have a strong political streak, and politicians' misadventures are mercilessly satirised. The crazy weekend kicks off with Europe's biggest children's masked parade on Carnival Saturday.
Weimar's Onion Fair is held on the second weekend in October. It is Thuringia's biggest fair and onions are the stars of the show – not merely cooked in flans and soups but also plaited and made into decorations. The atmosphere hots up on the Saturday with a race through the heart of the fair, and there's live music on five large stages for three whole days. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was apparently a regular visitor to the fair when it was already more than a hundred years old.
Stuttgart Wine Festival is a quiet celebration of Swabian gemütlichkeit – there are no fairground rides and no loud music. Instead, in the heart of the city, 120 stalls decorated with vines serve typical Swabian dishes such as maultaschen (ravioli), kässpätzle (cheese noodles) and ofaschlupfer (sweat bread pudding) along with a range of regional wines. A scaled-down version of Stuttgart Wine Festival has been held in Hamburg every summer since 1986.
On 9 October every year, Leipzig commemorates the peaceful revolution in Germany that led to the fall of the Iron Curtain across Europe with projections, video performances and candles. The Festival of Lights recalls the events of 9 October 1989 when more than 70,000 demonstrators in Leipzig confronted the security forces of East Germany's communist dictatorship with cries of "We are the people!" Through partnerships with other European cities, the festival organisers are highlighting the worldwide importance of those events.
Freestyle canoeists leap into the river with their canoes; inflatable crocodiles and ducks are raced against each other, and dragon boats bring a touch of Chinese charm to the Saar. Unusual water sports events are the hallmark of the Saar Spectacular in Saarbrücken , which attracts some 300,000 visitors every year from Germany and abroad. In the evening there's a free programme of music on two stages, whilst special effects bathe the bridges, the riverbanks and the water in colourful light.
Werder celebrates its tree blossom festival from late April to early May, when the fruit tree blossom is at its peak. The event has put this small town west of Potsdam on the international festival-goers' map. For nine days, around 400 stalls, eight stages and some 50 fairground rides create a wonderful atmosphere in the idyllic old quarter on an island in the Havel, and you can enjoy the beautiful blossom at orchards and fruit farms that open specially for the occasion.
'Experience, shop, enjoy' is the theme of the Potsdam Erlebnisnacht , an event that attracts tens of thousands of people to the baroque heart of the Brandenburg capital on the last Saturday in July. The party atmosphere continues well into the night with concerts, acrobats and music in the streets, and all shops are allowed to remain open until midnight. One amazing experience is 'ice football' at the ice rink in the height of summer.