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Germany - National holidays

Public Holidays (Feiertage)
Some States, like Bavaria for example,  have a dominant catholic population, so many religious feast days are public holidays. If a public holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, many businesses also allow their employees to take the associated Monday or Friday as a "bridging day" and enjoy an extra long weekend. Unfortunately, if a public holiday falls on a weekend you do not get a compensatory day off on the Monday or Friday.

The public holidays are as follows:
Neujahr (New Year's Day)      1 January   
Heilige Drei Könige (Epiphany)   6 January      
Easter holidays (no date is given because the dates change each year)
 - Fasching (1/2 day for some businesses)   Shrove Tuesday
 - Karfreitag       Good Friday   
 - Ostersonntag       Easter Sunday
 - Ostermontag       Easter Monday
Maifeiertag (May Day/Labour Day)    1 May
Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day)    6th Thursday after Easter
Pfingstsonntag (Whitsun/Pentecost)     7th Sunday after Easter
Pfingstmontag       Whit Monday
Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi)     19 June
Maria Himmelfahrt (Assumption)     15 August
Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Reunification Day)  3 October
Allerheiligen (All Saints Day)     1 November
Heiligabend (Christmas Eve, half day)    24 December
1. Weihnachtstag (Christmas Day)    25 December
2. Weihnachtstag (Boxing Day)     26 December

Other celebration days without a corresponding holiday are:
Nikolaus (when St Nicholas gives children fruit and lollies)  6 December
Silvester (New Year's Eve)      31 December
Valentinstag (Valentine's Day)      14 February
Muttertag (Mother's Day)      2nd Sunday in May

School Holidays
The long school holiday breaks are staggered throughout the different states of Germany to ease congestion on the roads.

In addition to the 13 public holidays (plus bridging days), German companies are obliged to give employees an additional minimum 20 days annual leave, although most companies give their employees 30 days.

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