Germany’s Summer of Traditional and Quirky Events

Summer time is outdoor time. And like every year, Germany will put on a magnitude of events for both locals and visitors to enjoy amidst the sunshine. Here is a sample of some well-known and some lesser known highlights.

Sails galore in Kiel and Rostock

a windjammerparade-kieler-woche-2008As every year, sails will be set at the end of June in the city of Kiel at what is known as “Kieler Woche”, the largest sailing event in the world. Kiel Week usually gathers around 5,000 sailors, 2,000 ships, and about three million visitors each year. While the event started out as a ship racing championship, it has long since become one of Germany’s largest festivals with many popular bands playing on public stages. For 2013, the nine-day program from June 22-30, consists of over 2,000 activities including sailing events and 400 races on eleven courses. A somewhat smaller version of the Kiel Week is the annual Hanse Sail in Rostock. Held during the second week in August (8-11, 2013) it attracts about 250 traditional sailing ships from a vast variety of countries.,

Night of the Palaces in Potsdam

a sanssoussisBaroque splendour in a romantic setting: on August 17, 2013 the world of the 18th century Prussian kings will be brought back to life in the palaces and parks of Potsdam. Now in its 15th year, the Night of the Palaces offers a program of concerts, theater, dance and literature at Potsdam’s UNESCO World Heritage palaces and parks. Between the orangery, New Palace and Roman baths, the 33,000 visitors can marvel at all the costumes and masks from bygone times, as more than 400 actors and performers bring to life the lavish world of the 18th century in Brandenburg. The historical venues host numerous music highlights including a performance by acclaimed soul singer Jocelyn B. Smith. To conclude the evening, a spectacular firework display lights up the sky above the New Palace.

Duhnen Mudflat Races: historical horseracing by the North Sea

a horses3On August 18, 2013 over 150 horses and jockeys will be battling it out for victory at the 111th Duhnen Mudflat Races. A total of twelve horse and trotter races are held on a 1.2-kilometre course on the mudflats exposed by the tides of the Wadden Sea. The dyke near Cuxhaven serves as a grandstand for around 30,000 spectators. There is also a great atmosphere away from the races with music and entertainment while skydivers and stunt pilots entertain visitors from the skies. The Hamburg Wadden Sea National Park, a stunning backdrop for the event, is a habitat for many species of plants and animals. These include seals and porpoises that visitors can spot during a boat trip or on a walk across the mudflats.