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© Amazing Capitals / DeiaGreg

Two different types of statutory holidays exist in Germany, either religious or political. Some of them are nationwide while others occur only in certain federal states. Unfortunately, if the fixed date falls on a Sunday for instance, then that day off is lost for much of the workforce, since the day is free for most anyway.

Celebrations that are not free days include Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest, St Martins, Halloween and St Nicolas. Regional vacations include Rose Monday, Rosenmontag, during carnival in North Rhine Westphalia.

Political holidays are fixed to a date and include Labour Day, which is officially called “day of the confession of freedom and peace, social justice, national reconciliation and human dignity”! Unification Day is another. Since 1990, October 3 is celebrated as Day of German Unification because this was the year when the reunion of East and West Germany became effective after some 40 years of separation throughout the Cold War.

Religious holidays are notable in that both Protestant and Catholic celebrations receive equal representation throughout Germany. Protestant and Catholic Christian belief embraced most holidays, such as Easter, All Saint’s or Christmas. Other festivities have more pagan or rural origins. These holidays follow the church calendar, often under influence of moon cycles. Public holiday dates relevant to the Ruhr Metropolis:

  • January 1
    New Year, Neujahr
  • March, April variable (12.04.21)
    Good Friday, Karfreitag
  • March, April variable (15.04.21)
    Easter Monday, Ostermontag
  • May 1
    Labour Day, Maifeiertag
  • May, June variable (13.05.21)
    Ascension Day, Christi Himmelfahrt
  • May, June variable (24.05.21)
    Whit Monday, Pfingstmontag
  • May, June variable (03.06.21)
    Corpus Christi, Fronleichnam
  • October 3
    Unification Day, Tag der Deutschen Einheit
  • November 1
    All Saint’s Day, Allerheiligen
  • December 25
    Christmas Day, 1. Weihnachtstag
  • December 26
    Boxing Day, 2. Weihnachtstag


By Vincent Green / June 10 2021


A great way to get to know the Ruhr Metropolis is to take inspiring and rewarding walks. Whether in urban or rural landscapes, take a pause, interact and allow details to become noticeable. Admiring quaint architecture, strolling side streets, the riverbanks or numerous woodlands brings joy to the soul.

Image of popcorn


Original language movies are popular among expats living across the Ruhr Metropolis. Films are screened regularly in English original with subtitles, known as OmU and without, portrayed as OV. A wide variety of cinemas or movie theatres can be found, both large and small.

Parks in the Ruhr

Beautiful parks in the Ruhr Metropolis entice with delightful scenery. Take a pleasant stroll, have a picnic or merely relax. Examples include the Stadtpark Bochum, Rombergpark Dortmund, Immanuel Kant Park Duisburg, Grugapark Essen, Berger Park Gelsenkirchen and Kaisergarten Oberhausen.

Park landscape with bench