German fests and holidays 2022 to keep in mind for your German marketing
As the end of the year approaches (how can it possibly be over so fast?), it’s time to roll up your sleeves and plan your next business year as a solopreneur and small business owner.
Maybe you’re already mapping out your marketing campaigns and seasonal offers and have pulled out your calendar to check next year’s holidays and festivities: When is the best time to market your product or service?
However, if you’re selling in Germany in addition to your domestic market – or are planning to do so – just focusing on your domestic holidays won’t be enough.
Seasons and holidays are very different from country to country, and people in Germany might not even be aware of the things driving masses of people into shops and stores in your country.
So simply rolling out your domestic marketing campaigns on the German market might not make much sense and won’t give you the return you hoped for, because you’re trying to reach people at the wrong time.
To help you attract your German audience exactly at the right moment, I’ve pulled together a list of our high days and holidays throughout the year.
You can easily compare it with your planned marketing campaigns and see where you need to adapt them to the taste and schedule of your German customers. It’ll help you change your perspective from outsider to insider and show your German audience how well you know them.
So, let’s get started!
This unofficial holiday is probably known and celebrated all over the world, and Germany is no exception.
You can see red and pink hearts everywhere and shops and stores, online and offline, will let you know well in advance that you really should get that box of chocolates or this piece of jewelry for your loved one. And many people in Germany do use the occasion for gifting something special to their partners on 14th of February.
What? Germans and Carnival? Oh yes, you’re reading this right. Some German regions are in fact absolutely crazy about Carnival.
While the tradition is common across the whole country, especially in the Cologne area people take the fifth season (as they call it) very seriously, celebrating enthusiastically and loudly during parades and events, all in costume.
It’s even very common for politicians to give satirical and rather rough speeches about their colleagues and opponents during this time.
And when does it take place?
The 11th November at 11:11 am always marks the kickoff of the Carnival season which lasts until February/March with the main carnival days in 2022 being Monday the 28th February, Tuesday the 1st March and Wednesday the 2nd March.
So, if your business can in any way be related to this kind of fun, be sure to mark those days in your marketing calendar.
With Germany being traditionally a Christian country, the Easter holidays are a big deal. Easter Friday and Sunday are public holidays with shops closed.
Easter Thursday and Saturday are normal business days, but most people will take an Easter break from work for a couple of days to visit their families and exchange small presents.
Seeing the family isn’t a must though, and many will also opt for a short trip to another city, to go hiking or similar.
So, this holiday provides lots of opportunity and flexibility for your marketing strategy ranging from gift ideas to anything related to travelling.
Though Mother’s Day is probably celebrated almost everywhere in the world, the dates vary greatly from country to country.
In 2022 Germany celebrates Mother’s Day on the 8th May, compared to the UK which celebrates it on the 27th March – so a separate marketing calendar is essential here. Typical presents for this day include flowers and confectionary. But wellness weekends or similar trips are becoming more and more popular.
Careful with this date though: not everyone is lucky enough to still have a mother or have a good relationship with them.
Especially on social media platforms, more and more people are trying to raise awareness about being a bit more tactful on this day. So, try to keep that in mind for your own marketing.
Ascension Day and Pentecost
Every year precisely 40 days after Easter Sunday, Germany celebrates Ascension Day (26th May 2022), and a few days later Pentecost (5th and 6th June 2022). These are public holidays and almost everybody in Germany uses these conveniently close days to go for a trip.
Trains are packed with people and their luggage or bikes. Since at this time of year the weather is usually very nice, most opt for a hike or bike tour in the countryside.
Tip: Don’t schedule your most important launches during this time, because people will most probably not be at home. If you do have offers that are related to the travelling sector, make sure to promote them in advance.
Unification Day, taking place every year on 3rd October, is the German national day, commemorating the unification of the two Germanys (East and West) in 1989.
Though it is a public holiday and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate, it’s probably one of the most relaxed public holidays you could think of.
There are no events, parties or parades taking place. Germans are very modest or even indifferent about their national day, and the only thing that happens is that politicians give speeches and people don’t have to work.
So, if you’re a US business owner looking for the German equivalent for 4th July, this is it. But your marketing should not reflect it. We simply don’t celebrate it. And seeing special Unification Day offers would be rather weird and ridiculous to us.
I remember watching a Halloween episode of The Peanuts as a kid (probably the early 90s) wondering why they were walking around in spooky costumes in the middle of the night. I couldn’t make sense out of it. Halloween was still a purely American phenomenon.
Those days are long gone, and Halloween has conquered Germany in recent years. Maybe you’ve heard of Heidi Klum’s legendary Halloween parties (if not, I recommend you google them!).
Though still not many children actually go from door to door, there are plenty of parties. Also, supermarkets and shops are packed with spooky decorations to buy for your home, and the internet is full of recipe and costume ideas.
As for many other countries, Christmas is the most important holiday season for Germans. And Germans love Christmas time, especially the build up to it (no time for Thanksgiving, sorry!).
Think Christmas parties, hot mulled wine and Advent wreaths for weeks. I’ve created a blog article just about the German Christmas season which you can find here .
New Year’s Eve
As you can imagine, 31st December is reserved for parties and fireworks to say good-bye to the old year and welcome the new one.
Parties either take place at clubs or large venues, or more comfortably at home, and are often accompanied by fortune-telling activities, lots of food, drinks and music.
The first day of the year, 1st of January is a public holiday in Germany. There are no special traditions taking place on this date. Mostly people just take the day to rest, go for a walk, call family members to wish them a Happy New Year and tidy up their apartments after last night’s party.
If the day falls on a Tuesday or Thursday, chances are people will take the day before or after off to have a long weekend and start the new year well.
There you go. This list of German fests and holidays will help you hit the ground running as you plan your 2022 marketing strategy for Germany.
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