Germany’s May Festivals

May is a special month in Germany when the weather starts to get warm and people begin to celebrate the arrival of spring. This is also the time when many of Germany’s most popular festivals take place. If you’re planning a trip to Germany this May, be sure to check out some of these great festivals!


1. Maifest

May Day, or Maifest, is a time-honored tradition in Germany. Despite its name, the festival actually takes place over the course of several weeks in May. During this time, towns and villages across the country come alive with music, dance, and feasts. One of the most popular May Day traditions is the maypole dance.

Participants join hands and form a circle around a tall pole decorated with ribbons and flowers. As they dance, they weave the ribbons around the pole, creating a beautiful pattern. Another popular tradition is the flower mantel, in which women and girls strew garlands of freshly-picked flowers on the doorsteps of their homes. Maifest is a celebration of springtime and new beginnings, and it is a cherished part of German culture.



2. Bergkirchweih

In the small town of Erlangen, Germany, a centuries-old tradition is celebrated every year in May. For twelve days, the town comes alive with music, dancing, and of course, beer. This festival, known as Bergkirchweih, or “Berg” for short, is one of the oldest and most popular in Germany.

It attracts visitors from all over the country and even abroad. The festivities begin on the Thursday before Pentecost and continue until the following Sunday. Each day of the festival starts with a morning Mass, followed by a parade through the streets led by the local band.

The rest of the day is filled with music, dancing, and drinking in the many beer tents that line the square. Visitors can also enjoy traditional German food such as pretzels and sausage. The highlight of Bergkirchweih is the crowning of the “Beer Queen”, a local woman who is chosen to represent the festival for that year.

Wearing a coronation gown and carrying a scepter made of hops, she presides over the festivities and taps the first keg of beer on opening day. For many people, Bergkirchweih is the best time of year to visit Erlangen. If you’re looking for a festive atmosphere and a taste of German culture, this is the place to be.

Address: Bergstraße 21-11, 91054 Erlangen, Germany



3. Bunte Kuh

Bunte Kuh, or “colorful cow,” is a German folk festival that takes place in May. The festival celebrates the arrival of spring with a procession of decorated cows, music, and dancing. Participants dress in traditional clothing and paint their faces with colorful designs.

Floral wreaths are also worn around the neck of each cow. The event is held in a different town each year and typically lasts for two days. During the festival, people enjoy traditional German food and drink, such as sauerkraut, sausage, and beer. There is also a lot of singing and dancing. The Bunte Kuh festival is a great opportunity to experience German culture and traditions.

Bunte Kuh
Bunte Kuh


4. Kirmes

All across the country, people celebrate the arrival of spring with colorful festivals known as “Kirmes.” These lively events typically involve music, dancing, and traditional foods. One of the most popular attractions is the carnival rides, which often include roller coasters and Ferris wheels.

Kirmes also offers a chance to try out local crafts and games. For example, visitors can test their aim with a game of “hammering nails into a log.” Or they can see how long they can keep a pot of water balanced on their head. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Kirmes is such a cherished part of German culture.



5. Frühjahrsmarkt

Every year, as the days start to get longer and the weather gets warmer, Germans begin to look forward to one of their favorite annual traditions: the Frühjahrsmarkt, or spring market. As the name suggests, the Frühjahrsmarkt takes place in the springtime, typically in April or May.

The market is a chance for people to get out of the house after a long winter and enjoy some fresh air and warm weather. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to do some shopping and take advantage of the many special deals that are available. Stalls sell everything from clothes and jewelry to plants and flowers.

There are also plenty of food and drink options, making it easy to spend a few hours browsing the market and enjoying the atmosphere. For many Germans, the Frühjahrsmarkt signals the start of a new season and a chance to enjoy some time outdoors with friends and family.



6. Heidelberger Frühling

Every year, the small town of Heidelberg in Germany comes alive with the Heidelberger Frühling, or Heidelberg Spring. The festival is a celebration of the town’s rich history and culture, and it attracts visitors from all over the world. For two weeks, the streets are lined with stalls selling handmade goods, local produce, and traditional food.

There are also music and dance performances, as well as guided tours of the town’s historic landmarks. The Heidelberger Frühling is a wonderful opportunity to experience German culture at its best.

Heidelberger Frühling
Heidelberger Frühling


7. Münchner Kirchweih

The Münchner Kirchweih is a centuries-old festival that takes place every October in Munich, Germany. The festival dates back to the 14th century when it was first held to celebrate the completion of the city’s Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). Today, the Münchner Kirchweih is still a religious festival, but it has also become a celebration of Bavarian culture, with traditional food, music, and dancing.

Visitors to the Münchner Kirchweih can enjoy a variety of activities, including rides and games, traditional Bavarian dances, and delicious Ho Thinkers (a type of sweet pastry). The Münchner Kirchweih is a unique and festive event that is not to be missed.

Münchner Kirchweih
Münchner Kirchweih


8. Düsseldorfer Altstadtfest

Düsseldorf’s Altstadtfest is an annual event that attracts visitors from all over the world. The festival takes place in the historic old town, which is transformed into a pedestrian zone for the occasion. For three days, the streets are filled with music, food, and drink.

Visitors can also enjoy a variety of entertainment, from street performers to carnival rides. The Altstadtfest is a great opportunity to experience German culture and hospitality. If you’re looking for a festive atmosphere and good times, Düsseldorf’s Altstadtfest is the perfect destination.

Düsseldorfer Altstadtfest
Düsseldorfer Altstadtfest


In Conclusion

Germany is a country with a rich culture and history, and this is reflected in the many festivals that take place throughout the year. If you’re planning a trip to Germany in the month of May, be sure to check out some of these great festivals. From carnivals and markets to historic celebrations, there’s something for everyone at these events. So don’t miss out on the fun – start planning your trip to Germany today!

So what have we had so far?
Simply Germany
Simply Germany

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