1. Carnival of Cultures, Berlin, June 2nd – 5th
A lady taking part in the 2016 Carnival of Cultures street parade, holding a sign which reads “peace for the world”. Photo: DPA
This colourful four-day carnival celebrates diversity and cultural identity in Germany’s capital city. The event takes place at Blücherplatz in Kreuzberg and is open to everyone.
According to the website, the event developed not only due to Berlin becoming increasingly international, but also as a reaction to increasing racism in the 1990s in Germany. Hence the carnival has been aiming to make minorities more visible in the public sphere since 1996.
Music and dance groups of both professional and amateur level and of all age groups take part in the parade, which will take place on June 4th, through Kreuzberg. The carnival also features live music and street food. This year stilt-walkers, acrobats and magicians are expected to wow visitors.
Though the city can actually trace its origins back around 1,000 years ago, the official founding day of Munich is June 14th 1158. In 1156 Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria, built a toll bridge to what was then a small settlement called “Munichen”.
The settlement grew, and on June 14th 1158, Munich’s right to collect tolls, have a marketplace and mint money was officially confirmed. Hence, June 14th is considered the foundation day of the town.
3. Luther’s Wedding, Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt, June 9th-11th
The actors who will pay Martin Luther and Katherina von Borain at the 2017 celebration of Luther's Wedding. They are pictured in front of the St. Marien Church in Wittenberg. Photo: DPA
The town of Wittenberg comes together to celebrate the marriage of Martin Luther – who 500 years ago kick-started the Protestant Reformation – to Katherina von Bora. The event took place on June 13th 1525, and has been commemorated annually for the past 23 years.
The event promises dancing, music, a middle ages-themed market and of course plenty of period costume.
The crowd enjoys a musical performance at the Elbhangfest in Loschwitz. Photo: Elbhangfest
Continuing with the Luther theme, this year’s Elbhangfest (Elbe riverside festival) in Dresden also focuses on the Reformation, celebrating 500 years since it took place.
Fifteen stages are set to bring spectators musical performances of many genres, and the historical aspect of the festival is to include exhibitions such as “Women of the Reformation”.
The three-day event takes place over a seven-kilometre stretch of the river Elbe, involving five villages between Loschwitz and Pillnitz.
5. Forest Day Festival, Frankfurt am Main, June 3rd -6th
Previous years' visitors to the Forest Day Festival enjoy a cool beer by the ferris wheel. Photo: DPA
Taking place in the city forest, this fun-fair, described by the Frankfurt tourist information office as Frankfurt’s “national holiday”, has been taking place for hundreds of years to mark the high point of the Whitsun holiday.
6. Palace festival, Schwerin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, June 16th – 19th
Actors playing the Grand Duke Friedrich Franz II and his spouse Sophie von Schwarzenburg-Rudolstadt in front of the palace at Schwerin during the 2009 Palace Festival. Photo: DPA
If you fancy a trip back to 1857, then this is the event for you. A festival is to take place to commemorate the day the prince of the region moved into his newly-built palace, a building which now serves as the seat of the local parliament in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Guests are encouraged to come in period costume to the event, where you can watch courtly dances, be honoured by an audience with the Grand Duke in the palace, as well as enjoy a craft market.
Bouncing back to the 21st century, the evenings on Friday and Saturday are expected to dazzle visitors with a laser light display accompanied by music, which beautifully lights up the palace. On the Sunday you can enjoy the parliament’s open day to learn about the local government.
7. Bachfest, Leipzig, June 9th-18th
Programme booklets for the 2013 Bachfest. Photo: DPA
If you’re a fan of baroque music, you’ll want to make your way to Leipzig this June, where the music of Johann Sebastian Bach will be playing in churches, concert halls and even in the open air of the market place.
The festival has taken place in various forms since 1904, but only became a regular, annual event in 1999. It includes tours of the Bach museum and is a mixture of ticketed and free events.