This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Public holidays in Germany" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (May 2008) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (September 2012) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation like DeepL or Google Translate is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,692 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Feiertage in Deutschland]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Feiertage in Deutschland)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.

By law, "the Sundays and the public holidays remain protected as days of rest from work and of spiritual elevation" (Art. 139 WRV, part of the German constitution via Art. 140 GG). Thus all Sundays are, in a manner, public holidays – but usually not understood by the term "holiday" (except for, normally, Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday).

Public holidays apart from the Sundays (there must be some of them constitutionally) can be declared by law by either the Federation or the Länder for their respective jurisdictions. By federal law, only the German Unity Day is made a holiday at present (Unity Treaty, Art. 2 sect. 2); the others, even the ones celebrated all over Germany, are made holidays by state legislation.

List by state

Holiday Local name (in German) Date Baden-Württemberg Bavaria Berlin Brandenburg Bremen (state) Hamburg Hesse Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Lower Saxony North Rhine-Westphalia Rhineland-Palatinate Saarland Saxony Saxony-Anhalt Schleswig-Holstein Thuringia
New Year's Day Neujahrstag 1 January checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Epiphany Heilige Drei Könige 6 January checkY checkY checkY
Women's Day[1] Frauentag 8 March checkY checkY
Good Friday Karfreitag Easter Sunday – 2d checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Easter Monday Ostermontag Easter Sunday + 1d checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Labour Day Tag der Arbeit 1 May checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Ascension Day Christi Himmelfahrt Easter Sunday + 39d checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Whit Monday Pfingstmontag Easter Sunday + 50d checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Corpus Christi Fronleichnam Easter Sunday + 60d checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY (1) (2)
Augsburg Peace Festival Augsburger Friedensfest 8 August (3)
Assumption Day Mariä Himmelfahrt 15 August checkY(4)(5) checkY
World Children's Day Weltkindertag 20 September checkY (10)[2]
German Unity Day Tag der Deutschen Einheit 3 October checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Reformation Day (6) Reformationstag 31 October checkY checkY(9) checkY(9) checkY checkY(9) checkY checkY checkY(9) checkY
All Saints' Day Allerheiligen 1 November checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Repentance and Prayer Day (7) Buß- und Bettag Second Wednesday before the First Advent (5) checkY
Christmas Day Weihnachtstag 25 December checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Boxing Day Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag 26 December checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY checkY
Total number of holidays per state (8) 12 13 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 12 11 11 10 11(10)

Notes:

checkY – Public holiday is celebrated in that state.
(1) Public holiday only in few Sorbian communities.
(2) Public holiday only in the Catholic district of Eichsfeld.
(3) Public holiday only in the city of Augsburg.
(4) Public holiday only in approx. 1700 communities with predominantly Catholic population and in the cities of Augsburg and Munich.
(5) Schools are closed all over the state on that day.
(6) One-time public holiday in all states, including those not normally observing Reformation Day, to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
(7) Public holiday in all states until 1994. The holiday was discontinued with introduction of nursing care insurance. Saxony is the only state where employers do not have to pay for nursing care insurance (paid by employees in that state) and where the holiday is still kept.
(8) For states where some holidays are not observed uniformly all over the state, such holidays are included in the state's total number of holidays if their celebration is predominant and widespread in that state:
(9) Four states adopted the Reformation Day as permanent holiday starting in 2018 (Bremen,[3] Hamburg,[4] Lower Saxony[5] and Schleswig-Holstein[6]).
(10) From 2019 onwards.

In addition, the state of Brandenburg formally declared Easter Sunday and Pentecost Sunday as public holidays. As these are Sundays anyway, they have been left out by the other states, nor counted in the table above (the state of Hesse even declared all Sundays public holidays).

Quiet days

A couple of days are designated stille Tage (quiet days) by state legislation, which regularly means that public dancing events, music at inns (if live or if not much quieter than usual) etc. are prohibited.

Some public holidays are quiet days:

One de facto public holiday (not determined by law, because it is always on a Sunday, but with officially organized celebrations) is a quiet day:

One other Sunday is a quiet day:

Some days may be quiet days without being public holidays:

In a limited number of cases – apart from All Saints which, however, has long been associated in popular understanding with remembrance of the dead. The status of quiet days is also given to festivities joyous in nature: in Hesse, the highest Christian holidays are half-quiet days (until midday) and in Rhineland-Palatinate, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day are two-thirds-quiet days (until 16 o'clock). For details see the German article on the dancing ban.

Flag days

A yet third category that may, sometimes, be called "holidays" in a sense are the "flag days" (Beflaggungstage). Only the very highest institutions, and the military, use the national flags at every day, so the directives when flags are to be displayed mark the days in question as special.

Flags are to be shown by Federal Decree on

and by state decrees on other days, such as election days for state parliaments, state constitution days, anniversary of the election of the Federal President (in Berlin) and so forth.

Frequently flags are ordered ad hoc to be shown at half-mast in cases of national mourning.

Unofficial holidays

Either Carnival Monday ("Rosenmontag") or Mardi Gras is a de facto holiday in some towns and cities in Catholic western and southern Germany which have a strong Carnival tradition.

Also, Christmas-Eve is developing into a sort of semi-holiday: from the middle of the afternoon, it is practically treated as a holiday, and while in the morning shops are still open, working for other businesses (apart from those that work even on holidays) is becoming more and more unusual; schools are closed in any case.

Customs about holidays

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) and Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) are both always on Thursdays. By taking only one day's leave, employees can have a four-day weekend.

The Three Kings Day, better known as Epiphany, is 6 January, the day after the 12 days of Christmas. In parts of Germany, it has its own local customs.

Public holidays in the former German Democratic Republic

Holiday Local name Date Remarks
New Year Neujahr 1 January
Good Friday Karfreitag Easter Sunday – 2d
Easter Monday Ostermontag Easter Sunday + 1d until 1967 and in 1990
Labour Day Internationaler Kampf- und Feiertag
der Werktätigen für Frieden und Sozialismus
1 May
Liberation Day Tag der Befreiung 8 May until 1967 and in 1985
Victory Day Tag des Sieges 9 May only in 1975
Ascension Day Christi Himmelfahrt Easter Sunday + 39d until 1967 and in 1990
Whit Monday Pfingstmontag Easter Sunday + 50d
Day of the Republic Tag der Republik 7 October
Reformation Day Reformationstag 31 October until 1966
Day of Repentance and Prayer Buß- und Bettag Wed. before 23 November until 1966
Christmas Day 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag 25 December
St Stephen's Day / Boxing Day 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag 26 December

See also

References

  1. ^ "Frauentag wird gesetzlicher Feiertag". berlin.de (in German). 22 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Thüringen bekommt neuen Feiertag". 28 February 2019.
  3. ^ Weser-Kurier. "Reformationstag wird Feiertag in Bremen" (in German). Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  4. ^ NDR. "Hamburg hat einen neuen Feiertag" (in German). Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  5. ^ NDR. "Beschlossen: Reformationstag wird neuer Feiertag" (in German). Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Schleswig-Holstein hat einen neuen Feiertag" (in German). NDR. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 24 February 2018.