The Rhineland is a special region of Germany - especially because there are five seasons! An overview of the holidays and festivities from January to December.
The beginning of Carnival starts officially on November 11 at 11 hrs 11 minutes; from that time on, expect to hear about Carnival choice of prince, etc. The Carnival high point starts six weeks before Easter, usually in February with the first event being "Weiberfastnacht" (Thursday) when the women take over. Men should wear old ties as women will cut them off on that day, beware! "Rosenmontag" is the heart of the Carnival: you will see parades in various city centres during the day and candy and other goodiesare thrown into the crowd. However, most of the Carnival festivities take place indoors in pubs, halls, etc.
If you are planning to go to one of those, don't forget to get dressed accordingly. Cologne has a particularly large Carnival parade.
In May look for "Rhein in Flammen": Beautiful fireworks all along the river crowned by spectacular fireworks in the Rheinaue. There are also lots of food and game stands. Entrance free. Beware as this is a popular time for young and old to party outside. There are large crowds and at times excessive drinking can be observed.
Museumsmeilenfest: The five houses of the Bonn Museumsmeile Bonn open up each year to a four-day, big party on the Museumsmeile. There's music, theater, workshops and many hands-on activities for the whole family around the current exhibitions of the program.
The Museumsmeile Bonn is one of the major museum alliances in Europe. The houses are close to each other and are within easy reach. The museums present outstanding exhibitions on topics such as science, technology, art and contemporary and cultural history. Each house makes its distinctive contribution to a unique overall experience. Every year in summer, in 2016 from May 26 till May 29 a four-day Museumsmeilenfest is put on with a varied program for visitors.
KunstRasen: The new season is in swing. Jan Delay & Disko N° 1,Element of Crime and Chris de Burgh are some of the acts. Tickets can already be bought online for the 2016 season. The concert season 2016 runs from 23 June to 17 July . More information: www.kunstrasen-bonn.de
From May to October you will find a large and diverse Flea Market in the Rheinaue every 3rd Saturday of the month. Feel free to make a lower offer than the price you see.
July is the month for the "Bierbörse". From July 22 till July 24 you’ll get a chance to try beers from all over the world.
Early September is the time for the international festival called "Internationales und interkulturelles Kultur- und Begegnungsfest", a food, craft and music event with booths and people from many nations.
Pützchens Markt in Beuel: Enormous fun fair held in September.
Klangwelle: Colorful illuminated fountains dancing 30 feet tall in various formations – synchronized with classical, modern and regional music. Fantastic pictures and emotional videos will be projected on an oversized "wall" of water. Lasers thwart the evening sky. A fascinating spectacle of latest technology with the backdrop of the spa gardens of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler in October 2016.
- 1. Weekend: Thursday, 6/10/2016 until Sunday, 09/10/2016
- 2nd weekend: Friday, 10/14/2016 until Sunday, 10/16/20166
Bonner Beethovenfest: Occurs every Autumn and runs for 4 ½ weeks. The Beethovenfest 2016 will take place from 11 September to 9 October.
Extensive musical concert series with another 60 events (including exhibitions, lectures, readings, Post Tower Lounge concerts, workshops, films, Public Viewing). Approximately 2000 artists appear during the Beethovenfest Bonn every year.
The tradition of the Beethovenfest Bonn stretches back to 1845, when a three-day music festival was held on the occasion of the dedication of the Beethoven Monument on the city’s Münsterplatz to mark the 75th anniversary of the composer’s birth. Both Franz Liszt and Louis Spohr conducted, and international guests in the audiences included King Frederick William IV of Prussia, Queen Victoria of Great Britain, the explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the composer Hector Berlioz. In a record time of just eleven days, a first Beethovenhalle was built to provide an appropriate venue for this first Beethoven celebration. The timber hall was demolished soon after the festival as a potential fire-risk.
In November St Martin's day is celebrated. Children join parades in the streets with lanterns, sometimes following a man on horseback dressed as the Roman soldier, St Martin. This may end in a bonfire when children are given a "Weckmann" - a bread man.
Christmas markets: before Christmas you will find Christmas markets in most town centres, (Bonn centre, Bad Godesberg centre, in Cologne, etc.) Siegburg has a unique medieval market. It is recommended to visit this in the late afternoon when you can soak up the "medieval" atmosphere created by flaming torches.