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Festivals and Events in Germany in May

What's on in May 2014 in Germany?


May is a wonderful month to travel to Germany: The weather is warm and sunny, the summer crowds haven't arrived yet, and you can take part in many German festivals, events, and holidays.

1. May 1st - Labor Day

View of people raising a maypole, Unterbrunn, Starnberg District, Upper Bavaria, Germany
altrendo images/Altrendo/Getty Images

May 1st is "Tag der Arbeit", Labor Day, which is a public holiday in Germany. Many families use this day-off for a picnic in the park, while whole villages in Bavaria come together to raise a traditional "Maibaum" (Maypole) with colorful ribbons and carved figures to celebrate the warm season.

When: May 1
Where: Everywhere in Germany

2. Frankfurt Spring Fair

Frankfurt celebrates its annual spring "Dippemess", one of the largest folk festivals in the Rhine region. The fair dates back to the 14th century, when it was a medieval market for pottery, especially ceramic bowls and pots (called "Dibbes" in the Frankfurt dialect). Today, the spring fair is well-known for rides, roller coasters, and fireworks.

When: April 11 - May 5, 2014
Where: Fairground on Ratsweg, Frankfurt

3. Rhine in Flames

During this festival, the stunning landscape of the Rhine valley is illuminated by firework displays, and thousands of Bengal fires bathe river, banks, and medieval castles in magic colors. You can watch this spectacle along the Rhine promenade in Bonn - or get real close and board one of the illuminated Rhine ships that parade down the river that night.

When: May 3, 2014
Where: Bonn, along the Rhine Promenade

4. Long Night of the Museums Frankfurt

Explore Frankfurt's art scene all night long with only one ticket; from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., Frankfurt museums and art galleries show their current exhibition and host a number of special events, like theater performances, concerts, and workshops.

When: beginning of May 2014
Where: Various museums in Frankfurt

5. Hamburg Port Anniversary

Every May, the Hamburg harbor, one of the biggest working harbors in the world, celebrates its anniversary with a three-day festival. Highlights of the festivities are the parade of historic ships, the dragon boat races, and the tugboat ballet.

When: May 9-11, 2014
Where: Hamburg harbor (St. Pauli Landungsbruecken)

6. Long Night of Music Munich

From hip-hop and blues, to jazz and church music: Between 8 p.m. and 3 a.m., you can explore Munich’s vibrant music scene with only one ticket (15 Euros). Free shuttle buses will take you to more than 400 concerts all over Munich's city center.

When: May 17, 2014
Where: 100 different venues in Munich

7. Moviemento Art Weeks

The "Autostadt" (car city) in Wolfsburg is not only the place where the Volkswagen is built, but also the location for an annual contemporary art festival. The Movimentos Art Weeks offer a interesting array of events, ranging from modern dance performances, and jazz concerts, to readings, and discussions.

When: May 2014
Where: Autostadt Wolfsburg

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