1. Green Sauce Festival, Frankfurt (May 12th – May 19th)
For over ten years, dozens of Hessian restaurateurs have been coming together for this annual festival, each of them vying for first place in the green sauce competition.
Green sauce is a culinary creation that hails from Frankfurt. It contains seven herbs: parsley, cress, chives, sorrel, borage, pimpinella and chervil. The herbs are then mixed with quark and traditionally served with potatoes and boiled eggs.
A traditional serving of green sauce with potatoes and boiled eggs in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA
During the week the festival is on, visitors can sample the chefs’ green sauces and vote on their favourite. The chefs battle it out to the final round and visitor votes determine who wins the competition.
In addition to live music, cabaret performers and musicians, a daily market will also be running throughout the event serving up dishes which incorporate green sauce in some way. Everything from Argentinean steaks to Sicilians rice balls will be on offer.
2. Dresden Music Festival, Dresden (May 10th – June 10th)
Bidding to be named European “Capital of Culture” in 2025, the capital city of Saxony is keen to attract visitors to its 41st annual Music Festival, which runs for a month starting on May 10th.
The opening concert of the 2017 Dresden Music Festival. Photo: DPA
At 22 venues in the city’s historic centre, 1,500 artists from across the world – including renowned orchestras, soloists and ensembles – will showcase their talent. “Mirrors” is the theme of the 2018 Dresden Music Festival, which according to the mayor of Dresden, Dirk Hilbert, alludes to the dimension of human culture.
The theme of reflections also points to the historical references which transport works of the great composers of the past into our world today, says Hilbert.
3. Rhine in Flames, Rhine River banks from Bonn to Linz (May 4th – May 6th)
In a tradition which dates back to 1756, the banks of the Rhine River from Bonn to the municipality of Linz will once again be lit up by fireworks during the first weekend in May in a spectacular show of colour and lights.
Spectators have the choice to either gather in the Rheinaue leisure park in Bonn or enjoy the view while floating down the river towards the former capital in an illuminated boat.
Rhine in Flames in 2017. Photo: DPA
From 9:35pm, six large firework displays will be set off on May 5th. Though you’ll have to stay up if you really want to be impressed; the final firework show due to kick off at 11:15pm is meant to be a highlight in that it will be synchronized to music from five continents.
The event is the first in a series along the Rhine between May and September.
4. re:publica, Berlin (May 2nd – May 4th)
Concerned about digitalization and how it will affect society in Europe? Head to re:publica in the nation's capital in the first week of of May, where you can ponder ideas having to do with digital civil rights, digital policy and the fight for a free, open internet.
— re:publica (@republica) April 29, 2018
What originally started as a meeting of bloggers in 2007 has grown to become a conference of activists, scientists, hackers, journalists, and entrepreneurs among others.
The event has also expanded beyond just being a conference providing discussions and workshops. This year for the first time a “Netzfest” – an outdoor event that’s free of charge where visitors can engage with others in talks about all things digital – will be held at Park am Gleisdreick.
5. Fairy tale of the Bremen Town Musicians, Bremen (May – September)
A statue of the fairy tale in Bremen. Photo: DPA
A lesser-known fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm is The Bremen Town Musicians, which follows the antics of a rooster, cat, dog and donkey. You can experience the tale for free through a live performance taking place over the next few months in Bremen.
The event starts in May and ends in September, with performances every Sunday at midday on the Cathedral Square.
6. Munich International Documentary Film Festival, Munich (May 2nd – May 13th)
Attention, movie buffs! The 33rd Documentary Film Festival takes place in the Bavarian capital in May, featuring films from all over the globe.
Claiming to be one of Europe's largest documentary film festivals, the festival states on its website that it aims to “support directors from so-called ‘low production countries’, work on impacting artistic documentary films and initiate sustainable relationships between established filmmakers and newcomers.”
At theatres in the centre of Munich during the week-and-a-half-long festival you will have your choice of German films and African films with everything else in between.
As there’s always something for everyone on our what’s on lists, don’t think we forgot about you wine lovers out there.
Starting from the last weekend of May and stretching into early June, this festival is based in a south German city where wine has been grown for over 1,000 years. You'll be able to try over 100 different wines at the Weindorf (wine village) in the heart of Würzburg's market square.