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EXPLAINED: How employees in Germany can take twice as many holidays in 2023

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The Local ([email protected])
EXPLAINED: How employees in Germany can take twice as many holidays in 2023
Photo: picture alliance/dpa/CosmosDirekt / Adobe Stock | CosmosDirekt

2023 comes with an especially large number of public holidays falling during the week. Here's what they are and how to make the best of them.

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Overall 2022 was not the best year for both national and state public holidays in Germany, with several falling on the weekend. Even Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were, respectively, on a Saturday and Sunday. 

But employees can rejoice in 2023: with the exception of New Year's Day, which fell on a Sunday, most public holidays in Germany take place during the week. 

And because several fall on a Thursday or Tuesday, people in Germany have the chance to take more Brückentage, or bridge days, so that one vacation day can make a four-day weekend. 

Or in some cases, when public holidays fall on a Monday and Friday, for example, employees can take three days off of work in order to have nine work-free days.

READ ALSO: Vacation days in Germany: What to know about your rights as an employee

The German travel website travelcircus found that employees with an average of 25 vacation days can squeeze out up to 61 days of vacation using Brückentage.

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Off to a good start in the New Year

New Year's Day 2023 fell on a Sunday but people in Bavaria, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg were lucky enough to have a day off on January 6th, for the Epiphany - also called Three Kings Day. 

READ ALSO: Three Kings Day: What you should know about Germany's public holiday in three states

Employees could have applied for vacation from January 2nd to 5th to boost their day off - provided, of course, that they work a regular five-day week from Monday to Friday. 

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Extra time over Easter

Want to take half of April off, but just use up eight vacation days? Simply submit a request from April 3rd to 6th (as Easter Friday falls on the 7th), and then again April 11th-14th following Easter Monday on April 10th.

Many May holidays

For the first time in two years, Labour Day - on Monday, May 1st -  again falls on a weekday in 2023.

With four vacation days, you can enjoy nine work-free days at the beginning of the month. 

If you are holding out for nicer weather, you can save up those days for Ascension Day (or Christi Himmelfahrt in German) on May 18th or Whit Monday on May 29th. With four vacation days you'll take advantage of nine days off at the end of May, or with six vacation days you can extend that to 12 whole days.

Tourists Saxon Switzerland

Tourists admire the view in Saxon Switzerland, one of Germany's top tourist attractions. picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Sebastian Kahnert

Extra long weekend in June

If you live in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate or Saarland, you can take a long weekend off with one vacation day. The reason? Corpus Christi (or Fronleichnam in German) on June 6th. Workers from other states will have to make do without public holidays in June. 

READ ALSO: Fronleichnam: What you should know about the public holiday

In July, Germany as a whole is short of public holidays, and on August 15th, people from Saarland and Bavaria each get a day off. 

Those who live in Augsburg can look forward to a free day - August 8th is the Peace Festival, which is a holiday only in Augsburg.

Two long weekends in October

German Unity Day falls on Tuesday, October 3rd, so if you take Monday off, you'll have a long weekend. 

The same possibility is offered at the end of October. Reformation Day - which is celebrated in about half of Germany on October 31st - also falls on a Tuesday, so you could take a long weekend off there as well.

Ample holiday time over Christmas 2023 

Christmas Day and Boxing Day in 2023 fall on a Monday and a Tuesday, which means that with three vacation days you can experience ten whole days off.

And the next year will be off to an even better start: New Year's Day 2024 falls also falls on a Monday. 

What are Germany’s public holidays in 2023?

New Year’s Day (national): Sunday, January 1st

Three Kings Day (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, and Saxony-Anhalt): Friday, January 6th

International Women’s Day (Berlin): Wednesday, March 8th

Easter Friday (national): April 7th

Easter Monday (national): April 10th

Labour Day (national): Monday, May 1st

Ascension Day/Christi Himmelfahrt (national): Thursday, May 18th

Whit Monday (national): Monday, May 29th

Corpus Christi/Fronleichnam (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony and Thuringia): June 8th

Assumption Day/Mariä Himmelfahrt (Bavaria and Saarland): Tuesday, August 15 

World Children's Day/Weltkindertag (Thuringia): Wednesday, November 20th

Day of German Unity (national): Tuesday, October 3rd

Reformation Day (Brandenburg, Hesse, Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia): Tuesday, October 31st 

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All Saints Day (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland): Wednesday, November 1st

Buß- und Bettag (Saxony): Wednesday, November 22nd

Christmas Day (national): Monday, December 25th

Second Day of Christmas (national): Tuesday, December 26th

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Anonymous 2022/11/23 12:49
Not sure I understand why Buß- und Bettag gets lower case lettering than all the other public holidays?

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