KNOWLEDGE BASE Holidays In Germany - Festivals

The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.


Religion, Holidays, and Festivals in Germany


Religion in Germany

Germany is largely a Christian country, with around 62% identifying themselves as such, according to a 2021 study by the German Bishops' Conference. As you’ll learn, however, identifying as a Christian and being an active Christian can be two different things.

The two largest Christian denominations in Germany are Protestantism (31.5%) and Catholicism (24.3%).  Due to the historical development of Christianity in the country, the South and West are more Catholic and the North and East are more Protestant.  The exception is the former German Democratic Republic (DDR), where there is a higher percentage of people who identify as atheists.  As a former communist country, religion was frowned upon. 

While Germans may identify with a particular religion, the majority do not regularly attend religious services. A 2022 survey by the Pew Research Center found that only 18% of Germans attend church weekly. 

Various factors contribute to the decline in religious practice in Germany:

  • Secularization and modernization: The rise of secular values and scientific understanding has led many Germans to question traditional religious beliefs.

  • Social and cultural changes: Changing family structures, lifestyles, and values have contributed to a decline in religious engagement.

  • Church scandals and controversies: Public scandals involving the Catholic Church and other religious institutions have eroded trust and disillusioned many.

Half of Germans show a level of trust in people of other religions, but a full third say they do not trust people of another religion very much. In response to another question, 61% of Germans disagree or strongly disagree that the only acceptable religion is their religion.


Globig Insights

It is risky to assume that since 70% of Germans identify as Christian, it is a nation of devout church-goers.  If your business is religion-based, dig deeper into where your target audience resides and understand the role that religion plays in their lives.  Remember that there are areas of Germany that are more heavily Protestant and others that are more heavily Catholic. 

There have been Jews in Germany for hundreds and hundreds of years, though the Jewish population is relatively small and just a fraction of what it was before World War II.

Islam is relatively new to Germany, having come with the post-war guest workers, or 'Gastarbeiter'. As refugees seek asylum in Germany, that number should grow.


Holidays and festivals in Germany

With the exception of Unity Day, observed in all German states every year on October 3rd, public holidays are determined by each federal state. Many of the holidays are celebrated in all of the states, making them essentially national holidays. 

It is true that most public holidays are determined by each of the 16 federal states. This allows for regional variations and celebrations of local traditions. However, many holidays are observed in all or most states, making them de facto national holidays. These include:

  • Christmas: Celebrated nationwide on December 25th and 26th.

  • New Year's Day: January 1st is a national holiday across all states.

  • Easter Monday: Varies according to the Easter date, but celebrated in all states.

  • Labour Day: May 1st is a national holiday for workers' rights.

  • Day of German Unity: October 3rd, commemorating German reunification, is indeed celebrated in all states.

It’s useful to know the calendar for these annual holidays as you plan your media activities. Your product may take on special appeal at certain times of year, and there are holidays that you can target as well as others that you’ll avoid in your campaigns.  



Globig Resources

Bertelsmann Stiftung (2023)

Pew Research Center (2022)

World Factbook

World Values Survey

Public Holidays

KNOWLEDGE BASE Holidays In Germany - Festivals