Dresden Events and Festivals

(Dresden, Saxony, Germany)

Picture of the StadtfestDresden enjoys a modest selection of events and festivals that are unique to the city, and also celebrates countrywide events and public holidays with as much enthusiasm as other major cities. With plenty to do in Dresden, there are of number of magazines that regularly feature listings of forthcoming events and festivals in Dresden, which are aimed specifically at tourists and visitors. These magazines offer a wide range of tourist information including popular shopping and dining outlets.

The highlights of the Dresden calendar are perhaps its musical affairs such as the Dresden Music Festival and the Dresden Dixieland Festival in May and the Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music in October.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January (New Year's Day)
  • Late March or early April - Good Friday / Easter Sunday / Easter Monday
  • 1st May (Labour Day)
  • Early May - Ascension Day, 40 days after Easter
  • May / June - Whit / Pentecost Sunday and Monday
  • 3rd October (Day of German Unity)
  • 25th December (Christmas Day)
  • 26th December (Boxing Day / St. Stephen's Day)

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Day - Germany follows the Gregorian calendar and consequently celebrates the first day of the New Year with a public holiday for all. Shops and services are closed and families and friends stage get-togethers


  • Fasching - celebrated across the country, this festival is similar to what other countries call Mardi Gras and is observed enthusiastically in Dresden with street-based activities and general revelry in pubs, bars and various public venues


  • No significant events and festivals in Dresden in the month of March


  • Dresden Film Festival - usually held mid-month, the film festival is a showcase of over 200 celluloid productions including feature-length movies, shorts, documentaries and animations


  • Dresden Music Festival - held annually, this event sees performances of famous classical music pieces and cultural-rich world music. Lasting for two weeks and taking place at a variety of venues, this is one of the most significant festivals in the city's cultural events calendar
  • Dresden Dixieland Festival - lovers of Dixieland jazz should not miss out on this popular annual event in which crowds in excess of half a million amass to hear some of the world's best jazz performers showcase their talents


  • Elbhangfest - held in the last week of the month, Elbhangfest has been a feature of the city's calendar of events since 1990. The festival is a street-based affair in which performers of every ilk showcase their talents to enthusiastic crowds who gather in the area between Blaues Wunder and Pillnitz


  • No significant events and festivals in Dresden in the month of July


  • Assumption Day - this religious festival is a public holiday in most parts of the country. Dresden citizens are given a day off from work to commemorate the day on which it is believed the earthly body of the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven
  • Dresden City Festival - late August, popular event in Dresden with lots of attractions including the parade of the Sächsiche Dampfschifffahrt


  • Saxonian Wine Festival - citizens of Dresden are invited to 'Wine street', a place dedicated by the city to celebrate all that is great about local wine production. A variety of vintages are available for sampling during this three-day event


  • Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music - this annual event sees musicians of domestic and international origin descend on the city for a showcase of contemporary music which covers all styles and genres. Big names frequently top the bill of this popular event
  • German Unity Day - Dresden celebrates along with the rest of the country on a day commemorating the unification of East with West Germany


  • Martinsfest - celebrated across the country, this is a festival in which both Catholic and Protestant citizens pay tribute to Saint Martin and Martin Luther. Traditionally, family and friends come together for general merriment and the consumption of seasonal foods and copious amounts of red wine


  • Striezelmarkt - beginning in November and running into December, the Striezelmarkt is a traditional German street market hailed as the oldest market of its kind in the country (founded in 1434). Expect all the hallmarks of a German Christmas market which includes stalls selling Glühwein, German cheese and sausages and various sweet delicacies