I will be in Germany, April/May 2011. Looking for festivals 4/30 - 5/1. Many posts say there are May Day festivals 'all over Germany' however nobody gives towns & details. Any suggestions?
A number of the villages along the Romantic Road (and i assume elsewhere in Germany) have decorated Maypoles in early May, so i assume they have some kind of event around the Maypole. we were there later in the month, so didnt get to see what was involved.
I haven't seen the German version yet, but the Dutch and Flemish versions of May Day go like this: unions and Social Democrat/Labor parties hold rallies and parades, everyone else ignores them and uses the day off to shop or run errands. Sometimes, far left groups use the occasion to cause mischief. Unless speeches about "the exploitation of labour" in foreign languages and watching the windows of banks and McDonald's get smashed interests you, there isn't a whole lot to see... giving the caveat again, of course, that I haven't been in Germany for May Day yet...
Some acquaintances of mine attended "Wine Witch Night" a few years ago and loved it: http://oberwesel.de/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=484&Itemid=290&lang=english PICS HERE: www.weinhexenmahl.de/
This is my favorite website to look for festivals in Germany. Each type of fest is in a catagory, (Dorf is village, Stadt is city, Jahresmarkt is Yearly Market, Ostern is Easter, Frühling is Spring, Herbst is Autumn, Ernte Danke is Harvest or Thanksgiving, Wiehnachten is Christmas), and then each land will list the cities and the festivals. The biggest problem right now, is that you are looking a bit early, and some of the dates have not been posted yet. Believe me, there will be plenty of festivals going on. They may not be the May pole thing you are looking for but Spring festivals of some sort. What is also popular is to Dance in the May on 30 April....I know the website is in German, but you should be able to navigate it ok. If not, come back and ask again.... http://www.jahrmaerkte-in-deutschland.de/hessen.html
They don't give towns or details because every town will have some sort of festivity going on. Some small, some big. It's like any holiday here, big towns have big celebrations, small towns have small ones. If you are near Munich, the Spring Fest should be going on during that time as well. It's a minature Oktoberfest and quite fun. Do you know what part of Germany you will be in on those dates?
Thank you all for your replies. We depart Berlin, by train, the morning of 4/30. We need to be in Frankfurt by dinnertime, 5/2. I phoned Wurzburg, Aschaffenburg & Heidelberg TI's and they knew of no celebrations, etc. So, am looking for a small town that would have a fun celebration.
I know both Schwabish Hall and Nurnberg had festivities in 2008 when I was there. This year I was in Colmar, France and they too had a celebration.
Again, thank you all for your replies. I have also heard that Goslar, Germany has a big celebration on 30 April. So, will continue researching!