Seven events you can’t miss in January 2020 in Germany

Whether you're a film fan or foodie, there's a fun line-up of events throughout the country to kick off the first month of the new year.

Seven events you can't miss in January 2020 in Germany
Star singers in Obermarchtal, Baden-Württemberg in 2016. Photo: DPA

‘Great Realism, Great Abstraction’ art exhibit, January 3rd-February 16th, Frankfurt

Over 1,800, twentieth-century German drawings in the collection of the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings will be on display starting Friday. Spanning styles of art from realism to abstraction, these are the works of German greats such as Max Beckmann and Gerhald Richer.

Taking place simultaneously is the impressive “Making Van Gogh” exhibition, which features more than 120 paintings and works on paper. 

Visitors to the Van Gogh exhibit at the Städel Museum in October 2019. Photo: DPA

Three Kings Day, January 6th, throughout Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria and Saxony-Anhalt

Head to these three German states, where the most traditional Epiphany celebrations, or Dreikönigsfeste, take place over the public holiday. Carollers and Sternsinger (star singers) dressed up as the Three Kings go door to door carolling and often collecting money for charity. 

Homes and stables are also purified through the process of burning frankincense, and at night families prost to the New Year over a Bockbier

Celebration and reading for famous Weimar Republic writer Kurt Tucholsky, Berlin, January 10th 

Kurt Tucholsky, the famous German Jewish journalist and satirist of the Weimar Republic, would be turning 130 years old in January were he still alive.

To celebrate the occasion, a lecture, book reading and birthday party (of course with wine and cake on hand) will take place in the art installation space in the house where Tucholsky was actually born, in Berlin’s Moabit neighbourhood.

“All You Need is Love” Beatles Musical, January 14th, Niederhausen

2020 marks a particularly special year for Beatles fans: 60 years earlier, John, Paul, Ringo and George would give their very first concert in Liverpool. 

A Beatles musical biography, “All You Need is Love”, will honour the anniversary at Niederhausen’s Rhine-Main-Theatre. The four musicians of the Las Vegas band “Twist and Shout” are impersonating the men, travelling through time and their multifaceted careers.

But if you miss the occasion, there’s still a long line-up of tour dates throughout Germany in January and February.

13th British Shorts Film Festival, January 16th-22nd, Berlin

Over the course of seven days, 222 films at six various venues throughout the capital will feature current British and Irish films spanning comedy, drama, experimental films and music videos. 

Besides a great line-up – which includes talks with directors and concerts – there will also be a free film workshop which includes the so-called “48-hour film challenge.”

Newbie and novice filmmakers alike will have the opportunity to produce their own film in just two days. 

International Green Week, January 17th-26th, Berlin

Mario Oblak, a cheese sommelier from Green Week partner country Croatia, presents some of his specialties. Photo: DPA

Considered to be the world’s largest fair for food, agricultural and horticultural industries, this impressively diverse event includes all sorts of landscaping exhibitions, German beer and organic products for every palate, a livestock section, and an array of sustainability workshops.

While this year’s partner country is Croatia, the 1,800 exhibitors on hand will hail from all of the world, with a specific focus on central and eastern Europe. 

25th Annual Motorrad Messe, January 31st-February 2nd, Leipzig

This massive “Motorcycle Fair” is not just devoted its namesake, but also to all sorts of bikes, from classics to the newest brands. A series of classic cars will also be on display.

For a rush without the risk, a “Wheelie-Simulator” will also be on hand to test out your luck as a stunt driver.

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Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April

Most cultural institutions remain closed in April, but there's plenty of activity happening online. Here's a list of online events for you to attend in Germany in April from the safety of your own home.

Seven must-attend online events in Germany in April
Semperoper in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Deutsches Theatre, Berlin, Interactive online event, until April 16th 2021

‘‘16-year-old Laura finds a message in her locker on the last day of school before the lockdown. A classmate is in danger and asks her for help. But Laura cannot solve the riddles she finds in her exercise book. Since she can no longer trust anyone at her school, she asks four outsiders for help’’. 

This is the plot of the interactive game with live performers hosted by Deutsches Theatre. Viewers get deeper and deeper insights into the dark machinations of the school via Zoom, Telegram and websites. In the style of escape rooms and detective games, a microcosm of corrupt clique leaders, illegal events and frightened schoolchildren unfolds.

To participate, you need a PC, a smartphone with the Telegram messenger app and a stable internet connection

Semperoper, Dresden, Virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, starting April 5th 

Starting on Easter Monday, the Semperoper in Dresden invited its audience members to attend a virtual performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. A recording of Dresden’s latest opera can continue to be viewed free of charge. 

Volksbühne, Berlin, Digital Collection, until further notice

        Photo: DPA

Volksbühne in Berlin has various online events to check out. These include a production of Oedipus, talks on the role of instruments in the pandemic (‘Piano against Corona’) pieces by the Rosa Kollektiv in collaboration with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and more.  

Arab Film Festival, April 21st-30th

With a selection of fresh films, the festival will present the latest film making from the Arab world. Impressive film art, gripping stories and blunt statements are the focus of this year’s official selection, paired with strong protagonists. Feature films and documentaries deal with topics such as migration, gender roles and the culture of remembrance and show a contemporary and often personal image of a turbulent region.

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, DIGGIN’ OPERA II  April 25th 6 pm-7:30 pm

Festspielhaus Baden-Baden is showing an opera production produced entirely by high school children, including writing music, creating the stage sets and costumes. Under the guidance of the best specialists in their field, the young people have worked over several months to put together a music theatre production which they will now be presenting at the Festspielhaus online 

Virtual Marathon, Germany, April 11th

At the Virtual Marathon Germany, you can run anywhere in the world, alone or with friends! You can choose to run a distance of 21, ten or five kilometres.

You can set a training goal for yourself for April 11th and as a reward, you will receive a marathon package in the mail – including a medal and running shirt. In the virtual marathon, each participant can choose his or her own route. There are even prizes for winners, for which more than three hundred people have already registered.

Gämeldegalerie, Berlin, Online collection, until further notice

The National Museums in Berlin have published another virtual tour of one of their museum collections: Following the Bode Museum, the Gemäldegalerie can now also be explored digitally in its entirety and in both German and English. The gallery is showcasing its 58 rooms, 112 panoramas, and 1,200 works of art.