41 Unmissable Festivals and Holidays in Hamburg, Germany

Updated on February 2, 2024  

festivals and holidays in Hamburg

Ever felt like you're missing out on some festive fun in Hamburg? This northern gem is brimming with vibrant celebrations and quaint holidays year-round. Whether you're a local or just passing through, our guide promises to fill your calendar with Hamburg's most exciting events.

Festivals and Holidays in Hamburg

New Year's Day (Neujahrstag) - January 1

New Year's Day in Hamburg is a fresh start filled with joy and celebration. People welcome the new year with bright fireworks lighting up the night sky. Streets buzz with friends and families sharing good wishes, while homes host feasts that bring everyone together.


The air tingles with hope for what the coming months will bring.

Sipping on Feuerzangenbowle, a special festive drink, becomes part of the tradition as glasses clink to mark January 1st. After a night of festivities, it's time to relax on Neujahrstag.

This day off lets everyone rest and look forward to the possibilities ahead in the new year.

Three Kings Day (Epiphany) - January 6

Three Kings Day lights up Hamburg every January 6th. It's a special time when families get together to remember the journey of the Wise Men who found Baby Jesus. [1]

This feast day, also known as Epiphany, fills churches with song and prayer in both Protestant and Catholic communities.

Kids love Three Kings Day because it's full of traditions and sweet treats! You might see children dressed as kings going door to door, singing carols for sweets or small change.

And don't forget to try a slice of Dreikönigskuchen, a yummy cake with a hidden surprise – find the tiny king figurine inside and you'll wear a crown for the day!

Hamburg DOM (Spring) - March to April

The first of three Hamburg DOMs, the Spring version lights up Heiligengeistfeld fairground from March to April. It's a big deal in Hamburg, with lots of fun rides, games, and tasty treats for everyone. 

Colorful lights fill the night as laughter and music spill into the streets. Think ferris wheels touching the sky and cotton candy as fluffy as clouds!


Families, friends, and visitors come together at this lively fest. Carnival games challenge you to win prizes while rollercoasters dare you to scream louder. The air smells like fresh popcorn and sizzling sausages from food stalls all around.

It’s not just an amusement park – it's a piece of Hamburg’s heart that beats strong every spring!

Hamburg Marathon - April

The Hamburg Marathon, also known as the Haspa Marathon Hamburg, is Germany's largest spring marathon.

Over 25,000 athletes participate in this grand event which takes place on April, treating both local and international participants to an exhilarating experience.

The marathon route winds its way through the most scenic quarters of the city, giving runners a breathtaking sightseeing tour.

For both participants and spectators alike, the accompanying Marathon Expo offers an added attraction filled with energy and excitement.

Hamburg's spring marathon is a classic sporting event that captivates numerous people every year.

Good Friday - Friday before Easter Sunday

Good Friday, known as Karfreitag in German, is a national holiday in Germany, including Hamburg.

This solemn day commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent death. It's a quiet and sober observance with no church bells ringing, no songs sung, and no music heard across Germany.


In Hamburg, businesses and attractions are usually closed on Good Friday as it's considered a day for reflection.

Most banks and schools in Hamburg also remain closed during this time to honor the significance of the day. As one of the most important Christian holidays, Good Friday brings about a sense of reverence throughout Hamburg and Germany as a whole.

Easter Sunday and Monday

Easter Sunday in Hamburg is a joyous occasion marked by various traditions and festivities. Families come together for a lavish Easter brunch, enjoying delicious food and quality time.

Osterfeuer, the Easter fire tradition, lights up the evening on Easter Saturday along the Elbe, adding to the vibrant celebrations across the city.

Osterfeuer easter sunday

Easter Monday, known as Ostermontag in Germany, follows with more leisurely activities and continued family gatherings, providing residents and visitors alike with an opportunity to embrace the holiday spirit.

The atmosphere throughout this period is one of warmth and camaraderie as people come together to celebrate this significant event on Hamburg's festive calendar.

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 Hamburg, 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.

Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt) - 39 days after Easter

Ascension Day in Germany marks Jesus' ascension into heaven, 39 days after Easter. It's a public holiday, with origins dating back to the 4th century.

In Hamburg, it’s celebrated through processions and is also connected to Vatertag (Father’s Day), blending religious traditions with modern customs.

People appreciating Ascension Day as a day off work adds a secular dimension. This Christian holiday remains significant in German culture and provides another reason for celebration after Easter.

Whit Monday - Monday after Pentecost

Whit Monday, or Pfingstmontag in German, falls the day after Pentecost and is a significant national public holiday in Germany. It commemorates the Holy Ghost's descent on Jesus Christ's disciples - part of traditional Easter celebrations.


In Hamburg, Whit Monday forms an integral part of the city's festival calendar, with various cultural events linked to it, including Port Anniversary and Reeperbahn festival.

Germans observe Pfingsten as a time for religious observance and traditional celebrations marking the end of the Easter season, approximately seven weeks after Easter Sunday and 10 days after Ascension Day.

Hafengeburtstag Hamburg - May

Hafengeburtstag Hamburg, the Hamburg Port Anniversary, celebrated annually in May, draws around 1.5 million people to the river Elbe. The festival features maritime events, captivating shows, and mouthwatering snacks along the bustling promenade. [2]

hamburg port anniversary

From the Museum Harbour of Oevelgönne to the landing stages, visitors can explore a delightful array of attractions including live music, street arts, flea markets, design showcases, and delectable street food.

Amidst jubilant celebrations on the River Elbe and an electric atmosphere filled with lively entertainment – Hafengeburtstag Hamburg promises an unforgettable experience for all who attend!

Osterstraßenfest - May

Osterstraßenfest in May kicks off the festival season in Hamburg with a lively street celebration.

Organized by Crapshoot, this vibrant event takes place along Osterstraße and promises an array of delectable food, captivating music, and lively entertainment to delight visitors.

It's an excellent opportunity to soak up the festive atmosphere and savor the unique offerings that make this street festival a delightful experience for all.

With plenty of activities to engage in and an energetic ambiance, Osterstraßenfest is a must-visit, providing locals and tourists alike with an unforgettable start to their festival journey in Hamburg.

Stadtpark Open Air - May to September

The Hamburg Stadtpark has been hosting open-air concerts for over 40 years, attracting 100,000 to 150,000 visitors annually from May to September.

The venue, with a capacity of about 4,000 spectators, provides a unique and intimate musical experience under the open sky, surrounded by picturesque trees.

The concerts feature a diverse lineup of national and international acts across various musical genres, including jazz, rock, and hip hop.

In 2024, the scheduled artists include Lotto King Karl, Lena, Alice Cooper, Dropkick Murphys, Toto, Diana Krall, Loyle Carner, Steve Hackett, Finch, Pur, Clueso, Helge, and Ronan Keating.

The Stadtpark Open Airs offer music enthusiasts a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere to experience their favorite artists.


Elbjazz Festival - June

Elbjazz Festival, an esteemed jazz extravaganza, graces Hamburg with its rhythmic presence every May or June.

Since its inception in 2010, this internationally-renowned festival has captured the hearts of music enthusiasts worldwide.

Amidst the charming backdrop of Hamburg, Elbjazz Festival immerses attendees in a blend of soul-stirring performances and captivating ambiance.

Renowned for its distinctiveness and allure, Elbjazz Festival stands as a pinnacle among Germany's cultural events..

Eppendorfer Landstrassenfest - July

Eppendorfer Landstrassenfest is a cherished street festival held in July, drawing crowds with its vibrant mix of live music, flea markets, and the famous Kellner-Rennen.

Nestled in one of Hamburg's most popular neighborhoods, Eppendorf, this event captures the spirit of the city.

Boasting multiple stages for live shows and an array of entertainment options, from street food to design markets, it's no wonder this festival is eagerly anticipated by locals and visitors alike.

This lively gathering creates a must-visit experience for anyone seeking authentic Hamburg festivities.

Hamburg Harley Days - June or July

The Hamburg Harley Days rev up the city with their annual celebration, usually happening in June or July.

This three-day event hits the Großmarkt with a pulsating Harley Village, welcoming over 5,000 merchants and an array of food and drink stalls.

The festival roars to life with thrilling activities and entertainment scheduled throughout the weekend.

With its vibrant atmosphere and plethora of attractions, there's something for every visitor at the Hamburg Harley Days.

48h Wilhelmsburg - July

48h Wilhelmsburg, held on the second weekend of June yearly, is a vibrant music festival in Hamburg's Wilhelmsburg district. Organized by Netzwerk Musik von den Elbinseln, this free event draws music enthusiasts from all over the city.

The festival showcases an array of musical acts across numerous venues throughout the island, capturing the essence of Wilhelmsburg's culture and fostering its communal spirit.

Celebrating the neighborhood's identity and cultural diversity, 48h Wilhelmsburg invites visitors to immerse themselves in a dynamic atmosphere filled with lively performances that embody the unique charm of this district.

Tibargfest - June or July

Tibargfest is a lively festival that occurs in Hamburg during the summer months, either in June or July.

The event boasts an array of attractions, including live music performances, vibrant street arts displays, bustling flea markets, and captivating design markets.

flower stand market

Visitors can indulge in an assortment of delectable street food while enjoying the festive atmosphere. Moreover, local fairs offer a unique glimpse into the city's culture and traditions.

This engaging festival creates a vibrant ambiance for attendees to revel in various activities and entertainment options.

With its blend of music, artistry, culinary delights, and local charm, Tibargfest promises an unforgettable experience filled with fun and excitement for all who attend.

Hamburg Pride - July or August

Hamburg Pride, also known as CSD Hamburg, bursts with energy and color at the end of July each year. The city comes alive to celebrate love and diversity within the LGBTQI+ community.


Boasting a plethora of events like Pride House, CSD street festival, and CSD Demo during its vibrant Pride Week, it's a powerful annual showcase that draws people from all walks of life.

With its origins dating back to 1980 and continuing to gain momentum annually, the event welcomes everyone for an unforgettable celebration of love and acceptance in Hamburg.

Hambug DOM (Summer) - July or August

The Summer DOM festival in Hamburg runs throughout July and August.

It's hosted at the Heiligengeistfeld fairground, offering a vibrant atmosphere with amusement rides, games, and diverse food stalls.


Visitors can enjoy live entertainment while soaking up the lively energy of this iconic summer event.

At the heart of central Hamburg, Germany, this festival is a must-visit for those seeking fun-filled experiences and genuine local culture.

MS Dockville Festival - August

The MS Dockville Festival electrifies Hamburg every mid-to-late August, attracting a bustling crowd of approximately 25,000 people over its three-day duration.

Known for its industrial backdrop in the Wilhelmsburg area, this vibrant festival curates an eclectic mix of globally acclaimed artists and local talents, creating an unforgettable musical experience that resonates with diverse tastes.

With its distinct blend of international allure and community spirit, the festival fosters a unique atmosphere that lingers long after the last encore.

The location's industrial charm coupled with the pulsating rhythms makes MS Dockville Festival a must-visit cultural phenomenon right in the heart of Hamburg.

Alafia Festival - August

Hamburg celebrates the vibrant cultures of Africa and the Caribbean at the annual Alafia Festival in Ottensen.

This lively event showcases the best of African music, dance, art, and cuisine, offering a rich tapestry of cultural experiences for visitors.

Alafia Festival

Held in August, the festival provides an immersive celebration of diversity and unity through a culmination of exciting performances and tantalizing flavors from across the continents.

The Alafia Festival is an opportunity for people to come together, embrace diversity, and revel in the joyful spirit that transcends borders. It's a chance to experience the warmth and vibrancy of African culture right in Hamburg's own backyard.

Vogelball Festival - July

The Vogelball Festival in July is a bird-themed costume ball with electrifying electronic music. It takes place in Hamburg's Wilhelmsburg quarter and celebrates the freedom of living life as a bird.

The festival brings together an array of electronic artists and DJs, captivating its audience through an innovative interplay of music, dance, and performance.

Known for its distinctive atmosphere devoid of corporate sponsorship, Vogelball stands out as more than just an EDM festival – it’s a celebration of art, music, and self-expression.

Set against an industrial landscape in Williamsburg, the festival promises a unique experience that sets itself apart from traditional music festivals.

Feast Of Corpus Christi (July)

In July, the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated in Hamburg as a significant religious festival. Known as Fronleichnam in Germany, this event honors the real presence of Jesus Christ's body in the Eucharist.

Catholic Germans celebrate this holiday with processions and church services, adorning charmingly decorated streets with flowers.

Some German states, including Hamburg, observe Corpus Christi as a public holiday, reflecting its importance in their cultural calendar.

The Feast of Corpus Christi holds deep significance for Catholics and is marked by solemn observances and vibrant processions throughout Germany.

This celebration showcases the rich religious traditions embraced by the community while infusing the city with a sense of reverence and festivity during the warm summer days.

Altonale - June to July

Altonale, a vibrant street festival in Hamburg, boasts a diverse program of over 600 events across 70 venues around the Reeperbahn.

The festival brings an eclectic mix of theatre performances, arts and crafts markets, live music concerts that appeal to both local and international crowds.

altonale festival

With parades, costumes, and lively music filling the streets, Altonale creates an enchanting atmosphere that captures the city's rich cultural diversity.

Spanning two exciting weekends from June to July, this festival is a must-visit for those seeking an immersive experience of Hamburg’s artistic flair.

Kampnagel international Summer Festival - August

The Kampnagel international Summer Festival in August is a vibrant and dynamic cultural extravaganza hosted at one of Europe's most renowned modern performance arts venues.

Taking place for three weeks during the peak of summer, in August, this festival promises an extensive program featuring some of the biggest events in recent years.

Attendees can expect a diverse lineup that attracts international artists and events to Hamburg, creating an unforgettable experience filled with creativity and energy.

Kampnagel itself stands as Germany's largest independent production venue for performing arts - making it the ideal stage for hosting such a significant event.

The festival offers a unique opportunity for individuals to immerse themselves in an array of performances while reveling in the delightful atmosphere during this beautiful time of summer.

Assumption Day (August)

Assumption Day, celebrated on August 15th in Germany, holds special significance for Catholics and areas with a strong Catholic presence.

Also known as Mariä Himmelfahrt, this day sees vibrant festivities like religious parades, summer festivals, and customs linked to plants and trees.

The Feast of the Assumption is among the most significant events in the Catholic calendar, marked annually with colorful street processions, fireworks displays along with pageantry..

Reeperbahn Festival - September

The Reeperbahn Festival, Europe's largest club festival, takes place annually in late September in Hamburg. [3]

With over 900 events and 600 concerts spanning various venues, this festival is a vibrant hub for music enthusiasts.

It showcases the works of talented artists from 40 countries across a diverse range of music genres. The event also features talks and podcasts, providing an immersive experience for attendees.

This lively festival serves as an excellent platform for discovering new music from around the world while offering an exciting atmosphere for those who appreciate musical diversity.


Filmfest Hamburg - September

Filmfest Hamburg, the third-largest international film festival in Germany, is an annual cinematic extravaganza that draws over 45,000 cinema enthusiasts.

Showcasing about 130 national and international feature films and documentaries, this event offers a diverse array of captivating storytelling from around the world.

Celebrating its rich history of delighting cinephiles for more than three decades, Filmfest Hamburg opens with Jordanian filmmaker Amjad Al Rasheed's Inshallah A Boy before leading attendees through an immersive ten-day journey of exploration into the artistry of filmmaking.

Hamburg Cruise Days - September

In September, Hamburg hosts the spectacular Cruise Days. This event, considered the largest cruise festival in Northern Europe, captivates thousands of visitors and cruise enthusiasts.

The festival's highlights include awe-inspiring ships and the enchanting Blue Port Hamburg. Described as an emotional and unforgettable experience, it offers three days filled with maritime charm, sensory delights, and vibrant entertainment.

Celebrated as the "world's most beautiful cruise festival," it invites spectators to embark on an inspiring journey.

Open Mouth Food Festival - September

The Open Mouth Food Festival, held in September, delighted food enthusiasts with an array of delectable dishes, showcasing Hamburg's culinary diversity and future food trends.


Renowned chefs and sustainable practices took center stage at the festival, drawing eager foodies from across the city to savor the delicious offerings.

This festival added another vibrant celebration of gastronomic delights to Hamburg's street fest lineup, solidifying its place as a must-visit for any lover of good food.

The first-ever "Open Mouth" food festival hit Hamburg in September 2023, attracting crowds with its rich culinary experience. Showcasing a wide range of delightful dishes against the backdrop of innovative sustainability initiatives, this event quickly became a highlight on the city's festival calendar.

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

On October 3, German Unity Day is celebrated in Hamburg and across Germany to mark the reunification of the country in 1990. It's a significant public holiday, similar to the Fourth of July in the United States, and holds great historical importance.

This day allows Germans to reflect on their history and celebrate the achievements brought about by reunification. In Hamburg, as well as other parts of Germany, various events and festivals take place to honor this vital national day.

Hamburg International Queer Film Festival - October

In October, the vibrant city of Hamburg hosts the renowned International Queer Film Festival. This festival is not only Germany's oldest but also the largest queer film festival in the country.

It's a significant event attracting a diverse and enthusiastic audience from around the world. The festival celebrates queer cinema, showcasing an extensive range of films with stories that resonate within the LGBTQ+ community, including feel-good movies and thought-provoking documentaries.

Amidst this festive atmosphere, attendees create their personalized film programs while immersing themselves in an array of cinematic experiences.

The Hamburg International Queer Film Festival provides a crucial platform for promoting discussions on queer topics through powerful storytelling, making it an integral part of Hamburg's cultural scene.

Day Of Reformation (31st October)

On the 31st of October, Hamburg celebrates Reformation Day in honor of the start of the Reformation movement. This is a significant day for Protestant communities, marked with festivals and joyous celebrations.

Hamburg joins other German states in recognizing this holiday as a public holiday, bringing together people to remember Martin Luther's bold act of nailing his 95 theses to Wittenberg church's door – an event that sparked a monumental change in history.

The streets come alive with music, traditional food, and colorful decorations as locals and visitors gather to commemorate this historic turning point. It becomes a time for reflection and festivity, highlighting the rich cultural tapestry woven into Hamburg's traditions.

All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen) - November 1

All Saints' Day, celebrated on November 1, holds religious significance and is known as Allerheiligen in German.

This day is observed in Western churches and marks a public holiday in several German states including Baden-Württemberg, Bayern, Rheinland-Pfalz, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Saarland.

In the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, All Saints' Day is considered a Solemnity and entails no work or school activities in the designated areas.

This special day commemorates all the saints who have attained heaven. It's a time when people remember those who have passed away with loving prayers and tributes. Additionally, it sets the stage for the following event – All Souls' Day on November 2 – where prayers are offered for all departed souls.

St. Martin's Day (November 11)

St. Martin's Day in Hamburg is celebrated with a tradition called Laternelaufen, where children carry beautiful lanterns to honor the saint.

Although it's not an official holiday in Germany, many families partake in this festive occasion filled with food and fun traditions.


The day holds significance as it commemorates the life of Saint Martin of Tours and is one of the oldest religious holidays globally, boasting rich historical and traditional ties.

With its parade of costumes and lanterns, St. Martin's Day culminates in a lively celebration that mirrors similar observances overseas, such as Malta’s customs where children receive bags filled with fruits and sweets near November 11th - adding an international flavor to the festivities.

Hamburg DOM (Winter) - November to December

The Winter DOM Fair in Hamburg takes place from November to December yearly. It's a perfect way to dive into the festive spirit with a delightful mix of nostalgia and excitement.

With an array of exhilarating rides, traditional German delicacies, and captivating live performances, there's something for everyone at this lively winter fair.

No matter your age, the Winter DOM Fair is sure to make you feel like a wide-eyed child again as you immerse yourself in the seasonal revelry. Moreover, St. Martin's Day festivities further enrich the winter atmosphere during this period in Hamburg with their heartwarming traditions and celebrations.

Christmas Markets - November to December

Hamburg boasts over 30 Christmas markets during November and December, offering a delightful array of holiday experiences.

One standout is the X-rated Christmas market in the St. Pauli area, adding an unconventional twist to traditional festivities with its unique offerings.


From late November 17th to late December, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant holiday market on Rathausplatz in Harburg district.

The festive atmosphere spreads across Hamburg from November through December, providing a wide range of attractions such as the traditional Town Hall Christmas Market and Santa Pauli Christmas Market.

St Nicholas Day (December 6)

St Nicholas Day falls on December 6 in Hamburg, Germany. It's a day filled with traditions and celebrations linked to the festivity of St. Nicholas.

People exchange little gifts, such as gold coins and oranges – a custom reflecting acts of kindness attributed to St. Nicholas. In Hamburg, early gift-giving and shoes brimming with treats are part of the local customs, adding unique flair to this special day.

The festivities surrounding St Nicholas Day not only celebrate generosity but also hold historical significance for Christmas traditions in various European countries including parts of Germany and Austria.

Christmas Day (Erster Weihnachtstag) - December 25

Christmas Day is a significant public holiday in Germany celebrated on December 25. Families come together to enjoy hearty meals and savor traditional festive dishes, creating cherished memories.

This day marks the start of the Christmas season, with joyful gatherings and various customs that bring warmth and happiness to homes across Hamburg.

During this time, families exchange gifts and partake in heartwarming traditions that have been passed down through generations.

The festive spirit spreads throughout the city as people embrace the joy of giving, spreading cheer to friends and loved ones.

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

St. Stephen's Day, also known as Boxing Day, falls on December 26 in Germany. It honors the Christian saint and is a public holiday.

The day often involves quiet celebrations with family or friends, along with charitable traditions and activities.


In several places around the world beyond Germany, this day serves as an opportunity for generosity and goodwill – encompassing both religious observance and community support.

New Year's Eve (December 31)

New Year's Eve in Hamburg is a dazzling affair, complete with vibrant fireworks lighting up the harbor and Alster river.

The city comes alive with bustling festivities across its scenic landscapes, from the Elbe promenade to the lively Reeperbahn.


Amongst the local traditions, watching "Dinner for One" on this festive night stands out as a unique and memorable German custom that visitors should not miss experiencing during their time in Hamburg.

Conclusion: Hamburg's Festivals and Holidays

Hamburg's festivals and holidays offer a vibrant mix of cultural experiences throughout the year. From the colorful Hafengeburtstag to the lively Reeperbahn Festival, there's something for everyone.

These events showcase the city's rich heritage and provide a unique opportunity to immerse in local traditions. Whether it's enjoying open-air concerts or savoring delicious street food, Hamburg's festivities create unforgettable memories.

Plan your visit to coincide with one of these celebrations for an authentic taste of what this dynamic city has to offer!

Key Takeaways

  • Hamburg celebrates many festivals and holidays throughout the year, such as Hafengeburtstag in May and Reeperbahn Festival in September.
  • Traditional events like New Year's Day, Easter, and Christmas bring families together for feasts and customs like Osterfeuer (Easter fire) on Easter Monday.
  • Cultural festivals highlight diverse music and arts scenes with Stadtpark Open Air concerts from May to September and MS Dockville Festival in August.
  • The city hosts unique celebrations like Vogelball Festival in July with a bird - themed costume ball.
  • Public holidays such as Ascension Day blend religious observances with modern customs like Vatertag (Father’s Day).


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: 835. HAFENGEBURTSTAG HAMBURG, retrieved from https://www.hamburg.de/hafengeburtstag/
3: Reeperbahn Festival – Germany’s largest club festival, retrieved from https://www.themayor.eu/en/a/view/reeperbahn-festival-germany-s-largest-club-festival-1392

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.