Hessentag festival, various towns
Hessentag festival, various towns ©Foto e.blatt

Hessentag: bringing a region together

This is the federal state of Hessen's annual celebration and Germany's oldest and largest regional fair. Always held in a different town, it presents the state, its regions and its towns through a week of events spanning arts and culture, customs, a range of music, exhibitions and speciality Hessian cuisine.

In 1961 the Hessentag was inaugurated by the then state premier Georg August Zinn, who said "A Hessian is anybody who wants to be a Hessian". His aims were noble – to bring together long-established citizens and immigrants, to give the many refugees and displaced people a flavour of their new home. Hessen itself had some catching up to do in terms of solidarity, for the state was only created in 1945 from areas that had had no links for centuries. Over time the Hessentag has changed, with new ideas and events being incorporated every year into this ten-day celebration of tradition and modernity. Now concerts by international bands are just as much part of the programme as the major regional exhibition, and every year the festival attracts over half a million visitors. In fact, the million mark was passed for the first time in Baunatal in 1999, and since 2011 Oberursel has held the record with around 1.4 million visitors. But one thing has not changed and will never change. The Hessentag brings people together to exchange ideas, broaden their horizons and have fun, which is what every successful festival should do.

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06/06/2014 - 15/06/2014

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