Public holidays in Germany

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Except for the national holiday (German Unity Day), public holidays in Germany (gesetzliche Feiertage) are determined by the federal states.

New Year's DayNeujahrstag1 January
EpiphanyHeilige Drei Könige6 January
Good FridayKarfreitagEaster Sunday - 2d
Easter MondayOstermontagEaster Sunday + 1d
Labor DayTag der Arbeit1 May
Ascension DayChristi HimmelfahrtEaster Sunday + 39d
Whit MondayPfingstmontagEaster Sunday + 50d
Corpus ChristiFronleichnamEaster Sunday + 60d12
Peace FestivalFriedensfest8 August3
Assumption DayMariä Himmelfahrt15 August5,7
German Unity Day 6Tag der Deutschen Einheit3 October
Reformation DayReformationstag31 October
All SaintsAllerheiligen1 November
Day of Repentance and Prayer 4Buß- und BettagWed. before 23 November
Christmas DayWeihnachtstag25 December
St Stephen's Day / Boxing DayZweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag26 December
Total 8121391099101091111121111910

Notes on the table

Public holiday within this state.
1Only in a few Sorbian communities.
2Only in the Catholic district of Eichsfeld.
3Only in the city of Augsburg.
4Public holiday in all states until 1994. The holiday was dropped in exchange for the introduction of nursing care insurance. Saxony is the only state where employers do not have to pay for nursing care insurance, as it was all paid by the employees, so they could keep the holiday.
5Only in the approx. 1700 communities with mostly Catholic inhabitants and in the cities of Augsburg and Munich.
6National holiday since 1990, commemorating German reunification on that date. Formerly 17 June in West Germany, commemorating the Workers' Uprising of 1953 in East Germany, also known as the "Day of German Unity". East Germany's national day was 7 October, the founding of the state in 1949.
7On these days, schools are closed all over the state.
8For states where not all holidays are observed consistently, the most widespread combination is given. Bavaria: including Assumption Day, excluding Peace Festival; Saxony and Thuringia: excluding Corpus Christi.

Good Friday and Holy Saturday are socalled "quiet days". Quiet days are days, where certain restrictions apply, as defined by local state authority. An example of this is the ban on dancing on Good Friday, which is observed in almost all German states.

Custom about holidays[edit]

Either Carnival Monday ("Rose Monday") 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.

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[edit]

HolidayLocal nameDateRemarks
New YearNeujahr1 January
Good FridayKarfreitagEaster Sunday - 2d
Easter MondayOstermontagEaster Sunday + 1duntil 1967 and in 1990
Labor DayInternationaler Kampf- und Feiertag
der Werktätigen für Frieden und Sozialismus
1 May
Day of LiberationTag der Befreiung8 Mayuntil 1967 and in 1985
Day of VictoryTag des Sieges9 Mayonly in 1975
Ascension DayChristi HimmelfahrtEaster Sunday + 39duntil 1967 and in 1990
Whit MondayPfingstmontagEaster Sunday + 50d
Day of the RepublicTag der Republik7 October
Reformation DayReformationstag31 Octoberuntil 1966
Day of Repentance and PrayerBuß- und BettagWed. before 23 Novemberuntil 1966
Christmas Day1. Weihnachtsfeiertag25 December
St Stephen's Day / Boxing Day2. Weihnachtsfeiertag26 December

See Also[edit]