More fests this fall: Find a Kerwe near you

by Genevieve Northup
Stripes Europe

Fest season is every season in Germany — Christmas, wine and a variety of harvested produce are celebrated throughout the year. Among these annual festivities is the Kerwe (the “w” is pronounced like a “v”) or Kirmes.

Held in major cities and tiny villages across the country, Kerwen are an opportunity to give thanks for another good year and a chance to party with neighbors one more time before the busy holiday season. Admission is usually free, and they are typically low-key, family-friendly affairs. You’ll find rides for little ones, beer and wine for adults, and tasty fest fare for everyone.

You are also likely to see what looks like a giant piñata hanging from a civic building. Local youth decorate the Kerwestrauß, or Kerwe bouquet, with strips of colorful paper and carry the pole to its designated spot. The pole is said to symbolize a fresh start and is usually left up after the fest and replaced the following year.

Looking for one near you? Kaiserslautern’s Kerwe is Oct. 14-24, and Mannheim’s is Oct. 15-16. 

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