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Events

You can celebrate the way the people of Mainz do in February during the Shrovetide carnival processions, during the marathon in May or in July during the largest fair on the Rhine, the midsummer festival "Johannisnacht" in honour of Johannes Gutenberg. A popular rendezvous in late summer is the Wine Market and it is not only the romantic who go into raptures in December about the Mainz Christmas fair and the festively illuminated old city.

Carnival in Mainz - February 8th to February 14th, 2018

"Fassenacht", or carnival – the famous fifth season and the celebration that out-parties all others. Carnival means wonderful days and all-night parties, dinners in fine halls with political speeches and "Kokolores"(gobbledegook), costumed balls and the huge Rosenmontag parade through the city centre.

Carnival’s origins stretch right back to the 16th century, while the first carnival societies were founded in Mainz in the 19th century.

But carnival is also part of the city’s history – a phenomenon of cultural history that has made this carnival centre famous far beyond the boundaries of the city thanks to the well-known television show "Mainz bleibt Mainz, wie es singt und lacht".

Gutenberg Marathon - May 6th, 2018

The Gutenberg Marathon is an essential date in the state capital’s sporting calendar, with more than 10,000 runners lining up at the start every year. Those keen to get active can choose between the full course of 42.195 km, the half marathon or the 2/3 distance (28.13 km) that is unique to Mainz. Hand-bikers and well over 2,000 schoolchildren also take part in the state’s largest relay race.

Open Ohr Festival - May 18th to 21st, 2018

The OPEN OHR (OPEN EAR) Festival is unique in Germany. Every year, the non-commercial, thematic youth culture festival creates anew the opportunity to grapple with controversial political issues over the four days of Whitsun, with the declared aim of initiating a social discourse – non-partisan, but not impartial.
Of course, the OPEN OHR Festival is not just about critiquing and discussing politics, but also about celebrating together. The festival takes place on the grounds of the former baroque fortification. The Citadel is not only a beautiful, atmospheric and historic place, but a superb festival area – it is a very special aspect of Mainz.

Mainz Museums’ Night - June 19th, 2019

In a two-year cycle, Mainz’s museums, galleries and cultural institutions open their doors at an unusual time. Late into the night, there are not only known collections and objects at 40 places of art and culture waiting to be discovered, but also accompanying entertainment is provided at the highest level: music, literature, dance, theatre and cuisine. Definitely a night to remember!
The admission fees to all the museums, galleries and cultural institutions include the fares for the MVG shuttle buses. Entrance bands are available from the Mainz Tourist Service Centre, the institutions involved and at the Mainz VerkehrsCenter (traffic centre) at the main railway station.

Mainzer Johannisnacht (Midsummer) - June 22nd to 25th, 2018

The Mainz Johannisnacht (Midsummer Night) is the ultimate event among the folk festivals on the Rhine. On the programme are typical Johannisnacht attractions, such as the merry ‘Buchdruckertaufe’ (printers’ baptism), ‘das Gautschen’ (couching), as well as theatre, cabaret, jugglers and musical performances on six stages in the city. You will not want to miss the Cabaret Night at the Ballplatz, the Johannis book market or the artists’ market on the banks of the Rhine! Four days of summer fun in the city end on Monday evening with a magnificent firework display over the Rhine.

International Book Fair for Small Publishers and Private Presses, 2019

Every two years, the Gutenberg City of Mainz becomes the meeting-place for private presses, small publishers, hand presses, book artists and authors. It is the most constant and oldest event of its kind in Europe. Nearly 260 exhibitors from more than 16 countries and 10,000 visitors meet at the "Mainz Minipressen-Messe" and form the greatest marketplace for books by small publishers and artistic prints.

The Sports Youth Children’s Festival - summer 2018

Once a year, the Mainz Volkspark becomes a huge games paradise – there are bouncy castles, climbing towers and water play areas with excellent sports facilities, as well as two large stages for shows. About 80 attractions entice young climbers and adventurers, young athletes and swimmers. Groups of children with disabilities are also warmly welcomed. In addition to the individual support, the Sportjugend (sports youth) ensure an accessible infrastructure on site.
The free admission and family-friendly refreshment prices mean that this event is an important and great way to ensure that all children, irrespective of their physical condition or social circumstances, can have lots of fun and experience a fabulous day in Mainz.

The Mainz Wine Market in the Romantic City Park - August 23rd to 26th and August 30th to September 2nd, 2018

Once a year, during the last week of August and the first weekend in September, anyone and everyone who produces, sells or just enjoys wine in the region takes part in a get-together in Mainz’s Stadtpark (city park). The park, with its beautiful rose garden, is the romantic setting for the largest wine festival in Mainz. With the family in tow, it is off to the wine market to enjoy extensive celebrations, chatting and tasting. Locals and guests quickly get to know each other during this week--maybe while talking about the typical Rheinhessen wine vocabulary? After all, those who just want to have a small sip after enjoying their Spundekäs', do well to order a Piffche. To empty the 0.1-litre glass takes no longer than a whistle. Those who prefer crafts will enjoy the artists’ market in the Rosengarten (rose garden).

Intercultural Week - September, 2018

Interkulturelle Woche (Intercultural Week)

Every September, the Council and Office for Migration and Integration organises an Intercultural Week. The high point of the series of events in the city’s popular Festival, which is well-known beyond the city boundaries, is the opportunity to celebrate, to talk, to laugh and to learn from each other outside the everyday encounters – this contributes significantly to the breaking down of boundaries between Germans and migrants.

Science Market - September 8th to 9th, 2018

Every September, and with a wealth of projects, actions and guides, scientists from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz open the gateway to the fascinating world of science for everyone. In an area of more than 800 sq.m, children, young people and adults can take in research projects and results in a clear and entertaining way and experience the "fascination of science".

About 100 scientists are present on the two days. The topics reflect the wide range of subjects offered at the Johannes Gutenberg University: the science market provides insights into the world of humanities, cultural and social sciences, the natural sciences and medicine, as well as into music, art and sports.

Christmas Market - November 30th to December 23rd, 2017

The Christmas season in Mainz is beautifully atmospheric. Set against the historical backdrop of the 1000-year-old Martinsdom (cathedral), Mainz’s Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) sparkles with more than one hundred festively decorated stalls. The stage programme on the Liebfrauenplatz makes for happy faces in both younger and older visitors. Numerous cathedral concerts and matinees, the traditional fairytale performance at the Mainzer Staatstheater (state theatre) and the popular Christmas card printing in the Gutenberg Museum’s printing shop are also features of the special Christmas attractions in Mainz this year.

In the squares around the cathedral carousels and hand-made toys make children’s hearts beat faster. Visitors interested in arts and crafts will really enjoy visiting the artists’ workshop. The eleven-metre-high, richly-decorated Christmas pyramid ensures shining eyes in the little courtyard which is the main access to the market. Just a few steps further on, visitors are impressed by the hand-carved, life-size Nativity figures in front of the Gotthardkapelle (Gotthard chapel) of the Martinsdoms (cathedral).

Calendar of Events

The calendar provides an event summary in German.
The famous printers’ baptism called "Gautschen" Kristina Schäfer
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