34 Unmissable Festivals and Holidays in Dusseldorf, Germany

Updated on November 10, 2023  


As an Amazon Associate, I may earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

In Dusseldorf, celebrations are more than just dates on the calendar – they're a vibrant expression of culture and community. From the lively atmosphere of the annual Rhine Carnival to the traditional charm of the Christmas markets, Dusseldorf's festivals and holidays offer a unique blend of joy and tradition.

Get ready to experience the city's rich cultural tapestry through its festive moments, where locals and visitors come together to celebrate the spirit of Dusseldorf.

Festivals & Holidays In Dusseldorf, Germany

New Year's Day (Neujahrstag) - January 1

Celebrations in Dusseldorf kick off with New Year's Day on January 1st. This national holiday serves as a day of rest and recovery after the lively festivities of New Year's Eve.

The buzzing nightlife takes a pause as bars, bistros, and restaurants shift their focus to serving remedies for hangovers marking this day quieter than usual.


As the first day of the year according to the Gregorian calendar, it also triggers a sense of fresh beginnings among residents and visitors alike.

Three Kings Day (Epiphany) : January 6

Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany, is a major holiday in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Celebrated on the twelfth day of Christmas, Three Kings Day (Dreikönigstag) marks the arrival of the Magi (or Three Wise Men) in Bethlehem, to present gifts to baby Jesus. [1]

The highlight of the festival is undoubtedly the Sternsinger tradition where children dress up like three kings and bring joy to people’s homes while raising money for charity.

In Düsseldorf, local festivals and events mark this important day that pays homage to the three wise men from biblical lore. Every aspect of these celebrations reflects cultural richness and communal warmth.

Streets come alive with song and smiles as communities gather together to honor this cherished public holiday in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, and Saxony-Anhalt regions of Germany.

Düsseldorf Boat Show (January)

The Düsseldorf Boat Show, known globally as boot Düsseldorf, kicks off the new year each January. This boat and water sports fair is recognized as the largest in Europe and a key event on the international stage.

Since its inception in 1969, it has grown exponentially both in size and reputation. Spread across an impressive 11,000 square meters of exhibition space, guests can explore an extensive range of displays from kayaks to superyachts. [2]

Every facet of water sports equipment gets celebrated here—making it a must-visit festival for many water sport enthusiasts worldwide who gather to stay updated with the latest trends in yachting and other aquatic activities.

With hundreds of thousands visitors each year, this festival has become one of Düsseldorf's most anticipated annual events.

Düsseldorf Carnival (Karneval) - February/March (varies based on Easter)

The Düsseldorf Carnival, known as Karneval, is a vibrant and lively event that takes place in February or March each year. This carnival marks the beginning of the "fifth season" of carnival in Düsseldorf.

It starts on 11 November and lasts until Ash Wednesday, which varies depending on the date of Easter. During this time, the city comes alive with colorful costumes, parades, and festivities.


Along with Cologne and Mainz, Düsseldorf's carnival is one of the largest in Germany.

It's a traditional celebration that brings people together for a memorable experience in this Rhenish city.

Düsseldorf Marathon (April)

The Düsseldorf Marathon is a highly anticipated event held annually in late April or early May. It is regarded as one of Europe's top marathons and attracts participants from around the world.

Organized by Jan-Henning Winschermann, the marathon kicks off on the picturesque banks of the Rhine River.

Known officially as METRO Marathon Düsseldorf, this race offers a thrilling experience for both professional runners and enthusiastic amateurs alike.

Good Friday (Karfreitag) - Friday before Easter Sunday

Good Friday (Karfreitag) is a significant national holiday in Germany, celebrated on the Friday before Easter Sunday. It holds religious importance as Christians attend church services to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.


However, Good Friday is also enjoyed by many others as it offers a day off from work and school.

Being a public holiday, most businesses and schools are closed on this day. In Dusseldorf, Germany, Good Friday is associated with various festivals and other holidays that add to the vibrant cultural scene of the city.

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is a significant day in Dusseldorf, Germany, as it marks the culmination of a four-day Easter celebration. On this day, people in Dusseldorf gather with friends and family to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is a time for joy and reflection, with many attending church services and participating in Easter egg hunts. In addition to religious observances, there are also various cultural events and activities taking place throughout the city.

Shops may be closed on Easter Monday, so it's best to plan ahead if you need anything from stores during this time.

Easter Monday (Ostermontag) - Monday after Easter Sunday

Easter Monday, also known as Ostermontag, is an important holiday in Germany that follows Easter Sunday. It is a national holiday and part of the four-day Easter holiday in Germany.

Unlike Good Friday and Easter Sunday, which have religious significance, Easter Monday is more associated with festivals and holidays in Dusseldorf.

This day gives people the opportunity to relax with their families or participate in various events and activities happening throughout the city.

It is a time for fun, enjoyment, and celebration after the solemnity of Holy Week.

Düsseldorf Street Food Festival (April)

The Düsseldorf Street Food Festival is a must-visit event that takes place in April. This festival showcases a wide variety of food trucks and vendors, offering an incredible selection of international cuisines to satisfy all taste buds.

From mouthwatering burgers and tacos to exotic Asian dishes and delectable desserts, there is something for everyone.

The festival also offers a lively atmosphere with live music and entertainment, creating the perfect backdrop for enjoying delicious food with friends and family.

It's no wonder that this event is popular among both locals and tourists alike. Don't miss the chance to explore Düsseldorf's vibrant street food scene and experience its cultural diversity at this exciting festival.

May Day (Tag der Arbeit) - May 1

May Day (Tag der Arbeit) is an important national holiday in Germany celebrated on May 1st. It serves as a commemoration of the historic struggles and gains made by workers and the labor movement.

This day has traditionally been politically charged, with demonstrations and rallies being held across the country to advocate for workers' rights. In Dusseldorf, May Day is celebrated as a festive occasion filled with parades, music, dancing, and community gatherings.

It is a time when people come together to honor the importance of labor and pay tribute to those who have fought for better working conditions throughout history.

Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag) - Monday after Pentecost

Whit Monday, also known as Pfingstmontag in German, is a public holiday in Germany that takes place on the Monday after Pentecost. This day holds religious significance as it commemorates the Holy Ghost's descent on Jesus Christ's disciples.

In Dusseldorf, Germany, Whit Monday is a time of celebration and festivity. It marks the end of the Easter season and is often accompanied by special church services and other religious activities throughout the city.


People come together to enjoy various festivals and events organized to celebrate this occasion. Whit Monday offers a chance for both locals and visitors to experience the vibrant culture and traditions of Dusseldorf while honoring an important religious observance.

Japan Day Festival - May

The Japan Day Festival in Düsseldorf is a highly anticipated annual event that showcases the rich culture and lifestyle of Japan. Taking place on the last Saturday of May each year, this festival attracts visitors from all over the world.


Held along Düsseldorf's Rhine embankment promenade, it is considered one of the largest Japanese festivals outside of Japan itself.

With its vibrant atmosphere, authentic cuisine, traditional performances, and stunning fireworks display, Japan Day is an unforgettable celebration that truly immerses you in Japanese culture.

Düsseldorf DoKomi (June)

Düsseldorf DoKomi is the largest anime and Japan Expo in Germany, held every June/July in Düsseldorf. This convention celebrates all things related to anime, manga, and Japanese culture. [3]

Visitors can expect a lively atmosphere filled with cosplayers, workshops, and thrilling performances.

One of the highlights of DoKomi is its food festival where attendees can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine right at the event.

Whether you're an avid fan or simply curious about Japanese culture, Düsseldorf DoKomi offers a fun and immersive experience for everyone.

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) - 39 days after Easter

Ascension Day, also known as Christi Himmelfahrt, is a religious holiday celebrated in Germany. It takes place 39 days after Easter Sunday and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven.

This tradition has been observed in Germany for centuries, dating back to at least the 4th century. On this day, people participate in processions with torches and banners to honor the occasion.

In addition to its religious significance, Ascension Day is also a public holiday in Germany, allowing people to have the day off from work.

Feast Of Corpus Christi (July)

Corpus Christi, also known as Fronleichnam in Germany, is a Catholic festival celebrated 60 days after Easter. In certain states of Germany, Corpus Christi is observed as a public holiday.

This important feast honors the belief in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. In Germany, Corpus Christi is celebrated on the second Thursday after Whitsun.

The highlight of this festival is the grand processions where the blessed sacrament, typically bread or wafers, is carried through the streets in procession.

These colorful parades take place 10 days after Whitsun and 60 days after Easter.

Frankreichfest (France Festival) (July)

Frankreichfest is an annual festival in Düsseldorf that celebrates French culture with music, food, and activities.

Usualyl held around Bastille Day, the festival takes place in the Old Town and Rhine area of Düsseldorf. [4]

Visitors can enjoy live music performances while indulging in a variety of French culinary delights such as cheese, pates, oils, pastries, breads, crêpes, and oysters.

The festival aims to showcase the French lifestyle through entertainment and interactive experiences for all attendees to enjoy.

Rheinkirmes (July)

Rheinkirmes is one of Germany's biggest and most popular festivals. Over 4 million people visit the fair, which takes place in July on the left bank of the Rhine River in Düsseldorf.


This funfair spans around 4.5 kilometers, making it the largest on the Rhine. With over 300 showmen from Germany and abroad, there are plenty of amusement rides, games, and delicious food to enjoy.

Rheinkirmes has been a tradition for more than 100 years and lasts for two weeks, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone who attends.

Schadowstraßenfest (July)

The Schadowstraßenfest is a lively street festival that takes place in July in Dusseldorf, Germany. It is considered one of the country's biggest parades and attracts a large number of visitors.

The festival features 3,000 marchers and offers 10 days of outdoor family fun with rides, live music, food stalls, and shopping opportunities. What makes this festival unique is its combination of traditional elements with modern entertainment.

With its vibrant atmosphere and wide array of activities, the Schadowstraßenfest is a must-visit event for both locals and tourists alike.

alltours Kino (July-August)

Alltours Kino is the place to be for open-air cinema lovers in Dusseldorf. With over 25 years of experience, this outdoor cinema has become a summer staple in the city. [5]


Each evening, up to 1,800 guests gather at Alltours Kino to enjoy film screenings under the stars.

What sets this venue apart is its beach club atmosphere, providing a unique and vibrant setting for movie nights. From relaxing on the sandy beach to participating in fun activities and entertainment, there's something for everyone here.

Weinsommer in Düsseldorf (August)

The Weinsommer in Düsseldorf is a wine festival that takes place in August. Held in the wine-growing region of Düsseldorf, it showcases both local and international wines for visitors to enjoy.


Along with the great selection of wines, there are also delicious food options and fun activities. One highlight of the festival is the crowning of a wine queen, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Another exciting part of Weinsommer is the colorful parade that celebrates all things related to wine. It's an event that wine enthusiasts won't want to miss when visiting Düsseldorf in August.

Düsseldorf Gourmet Festival (August)

The Düsseldorf Gourmet Festival takes place in August and is held at the famous "Königsallee" in Düsseldorf. It has quickly become a premier gourmet fair in the city since its launch in 2011.


This festival offers the best quality food and drinks, including organic options, from local restaurants and vendors.

It provides a relaxed outdoor atmosphere for gourmets, barbecue lovers, and wine enthusiasts to indulge in their culinary passions.

Dusseldorf Classic Days (August)

Dusseldorf Classic Days is an exciting vintage car festival held in Dusseldorf, Germany.


It is considered one of the most significant events of its kind in the country, attracting automobile enthusiasts and nostalgia fans from all over Europe.

The festival takes place at Messe Düsseldorf and offers a diverse program that celebrates classic cars and the lifestyle associated with them.

If you love vintage cars and motorcycles, this is an event you don't want to miss!

Assumption Day (August)

Assumption Day, celebrated on August 15th in Germany, is an important holiday that holds significance in the Catholic religion. On this day, people commemorate the event when Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, was taken to heaven.

Also known as Mariae Himmelfahrt or Mariae Aufnahme in den Himmel, Assumption Day is recognized as a public holiday in some states across Germany. Festivals and festivities are organized to celebrate this special occasion.

It's a time for people to come together and honor the religious beliefs associated with Mary's ascent into heaven.

Düsseldorf Festival (September)

The Düsseldorf Festival is a lively and vibrant event that takes place in September. This festival celebrates the rich traditions of German culture, offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere. [6]

From traditional food and beer to community events and music performances, there is something for everyone to enjoy at this festival.

Whether you're exploring local customs or indulging in international cuisine, the Düsseldorf Festival is sure to be an unforgettable experience.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to celebrate with the locals and embrace the spirit of Düsseldorf in September!

Kö-Lauf (September)

Kö-Lauf is a popular running event held in Dusseldorf, Germany during September.

This vibrant celebration showcases the city's culture, food, and beer. Participants and spectators alike flock to Kö-Lauf to experience the festive atmosphere of Dusseldorf at its best.

The main highlight of the event is a thrilling running race along the famous Kö-Bogen boulevard. [7]

Whether you're a running enthusiast or simply looking for an active and fun experience in Dusseldorf, Kö-Lauf is definitely an event not to be missed.

Dusseldorf Oktoberfest (September-October)

Dusseldorf Oktoberfest, held in September and October, is a popular event that shouldn't be missed. This festive celebration features beer, fairground rides, traditional music, and German costumes.


Held by the river, it offers a lively atmosphere where you can enjoy a variety of food options including traditional German dishes like wurst. The weather during October might be moderately chilly and breezy, adding to the charming ambiance of the festival.

Whether you're looking to have fun with friends or experience authentic German culture, Dusseldorf Oktoberfest is the perfect event to immerse yourself in lively festivities and create lasting memories.

German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit) - October 3

German Unity Day, celebrated on October 3rd, commemorates the reunification of Germany in 1990. It is considered the most important non-religious holiday in Germany and is marked by festivals and celebrations across the country, including Dusseldorf.

On German Unity Day in Dusseldorf, you can expect to find a range of events and activities such as concerts, parades, and fireworks. The celebrations also showcase traditional German food and drinks along with cultural performances and exhibitions.

Day Of Reformation (31st October)

The Day of Reformation, celebrated on October 31, holds great significance in many Protestant traditions in Germany. This day marks the start of the Reformation, a movement that began in Germany and led to significant changes within Christianity.

In Dusseldorf and several other German states, this day is recognized as a public holiday. It is common for the celebrations of Reformation Day to be combined with All Saints' Day on November 1, resulting in an extended celebration lasting for seven days.

While it originated in Germany, Reformation Day is also observed in other countries like Chile, where it falls on October 27.

All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen) - November 1

All Saints' Day, also known as Allerheiligen, is a significant public holiday in several regions of Germany, including North Rhine-Westphalia where Dusseldorf is located.

Celebrated on November 1st, this day is dedicated to remembering and honoring all the saints and martyrs of the Christian faith.

It is a time for people to reflect on the lives of loved ones who have passed away and pay their respects. In Dusseldorf, many people visit cemeteries to light candles and place flowers on graves as a way of remembering those who have gone before them.

The All Saints' Day Fair in Soest, Germany is another notable event that attracts around one million visitors each year.

St. Martin's Day (November 11)

St. Martin's Day is a religious observance dedicated to St. Martin of Tours and is celebrated on November 11 in Dusseldorf. 

This holiday holds special significance for children as it marks the official start of Karneval, Fasching, and Fastnacht.

On this day, people take to the streets carrying beautifully decorated lanterns and lighting up the night with their warm glow.


St. Martin's Day is also closely associated with the Catholic Church and its traditions, making it a cherished event in Dusseldorf's cultural calendar.

St Nicholas Day (December 6)

St. Nicholas Day is a festive celebration that takes place on December 6th in Dusseldorf, Germany.

This religious holiday serves as a precursor to the Christmas season and honors St. Nicholas of Myra, who is also known as the patron saint of Russia and Greece.

In Western Christian countries, including Germany, this special day is celebrated by leaving out shoes for St. Nicholas to fill with small gifts and treats. It's a delightful tradition that adds excitement and anticipation to the holiday season in Dusseldorf.

Christmas Day (Erster Weihnachtstag) - December 25

Christmas Day (Erster Weihnachtstag) is the biggest and most important national holiday in Germany. It falls on December 25th and is a time for families to come together and celebrate.

This day commemorates the Nativity of Jesus according to tradition, which is believed to have taken place on December 25th.


In Germany, December 24th is actually the most significant date during the Christmas season, but both December 25th and 26th are legal holidays known as First and Second Christmas Day respectively.

Families exchange gifts, attend church services, and enjoy a festive meal together on this special day. It's a time of joy and reflection for people all over the country.

St. Stephen's Day/Boxing Day (Zweiter Weihnachtstag) - December 26

St. Stephen's Day, also known as Boxing Day, is a public holiday in Germany that falls on December 26th. It is one of two holidays in Germany dedicated to honoring Christian saints.

This day is also observed in many countries around the world to commemorate the life and martyrdom of St. Stephen.

The name "Boxing Day" originated from the tradition of giving gifts, or "boxes," to those less fortunate after Christmas Day.


In Catalonia, St. Stephen's Day is celebrated with a festive meal featuring a traditional dish called canelons.

New Year's Eve (December 31)

New Year's Eve in Dusseldorf, Germany is a lively and festive occasion celebrated on December 31st. It signifies the farewell to the old year and the welcoming of the new one. Families and friends come together to enjoy this special evening filled with joy and excitement.


The city comes alive with various activities and events, including spectacular firework displays that light up the night sky. Dusseldorf offers a vibrant atmosphere where people can indulge in delicious food, dance to music, and make unforgettable memories as they count down to midnight.

Whether you prefer attending parties or watching fireworks by the Rhine River, New Year's Eve in Dusseldorf provides a fantastic experience for everyone looking forward to embracing the start of a brand new year.

Conclusion: Festivals & Holidays in Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf's vibrant tapestry of festivals and holidays reflects the city's rich cultural heritage and dynamic spirit.

From the exuberance of the Karneval celebrations to the enchanting traditions of the Christmas markets, each event offers a unique glimpse into the heart of this German metropolis.

The festivals not only showcase Dusseldorf's diverse traditions but also unite its residents and visitors in joyous celebrations.

Key Takeaways

  • Dusseldorf, Germany is known for its vibrant festivals and holidays throughout the year.
  • Festivals like the Düsseldorf Carnival and Japan Day Festival showcase the city's rich cultural diversity.
  • The Düsseldorf Boat Show is the largest boat and water sports fair in Europe, attracting enthusiasts from around the world.
  • Events such as the Schadowstraßenfest and Rheinkirmes offer exciting entertainment with rides, live music, food stalls, and shopping opportunities.


1: Three Kings Day: What you should know about Germany's public holiday in three states, retrieved from https://www.thelocal.de/20200106/germany-public-holiday-why-is-three-kings-day-celebrated
2: boot Düsseldorf: Boat Show & Watersports Exhibition - boot 2024 -- boot Düsseldorf, retrieved from https://www.boot.com/
3: Anime & Japan Expo in Düsseldorf - The Anime- and Japan-Expo in Düsseldorf, retrieved from https://www.dokomi.de/en/event
4: Düsseldorf France Festival, retrieved from https://www.duesseldorfer-frankreich-fest.de/
5: Filmnächte unter Sternen - alltours Kino, retrieved from https://www.alltours-kino.de/
6: duesseldorf-festival - Startseite - DÜSSELDORF FESTIVAL, retrieved from https://www.duesseldorf-festival.de/en/index.html
7: Kö-Lauf — Düsseldorf, Germany, retrieved from https://www.runinternational.eu/maps/germany/1918-koe-lauf

About the Author

Stephan Drescher, founder of germanytravel.blog, is a German travel expert and insider, providing trusted tips and advice for a perfect trip to Germany. Born & bred German.