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October 6 & November 28 2024

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In Germany Saint Michael’s Day on September 29 marked the end of the harvest season. Thanksgiving, Erntedankfest, is celebrated in a special church service on the first Sunday of October. The style compares little with the American celebration on the fourth Thursday in November to commemorate the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving to God for the land and for a copious harvest.

Europe’s harvest celebrations hold a long tradition. They are great community affairs and many have their origin in pagan rituals. From early October, when fruit and grain produce could be harvested until late November, the time when winter began, people could use nature’s riches on the last warm days of the year to club together and to enjoy festivities. Through the centuries, villages all over Germany celebrated with festivals that included dances, parades, games, banquets and pageants.

Many regions gave their thanksgiving festival a special name. German wine producing areas celebrate a Winemaker’s Fest, Winzerfest, when all grapes are picked whereas Alpine regions tend to celebrate the reaping of grain. Nowadays these traditions have not survived in many villages and towns, certainly not in cities. Modern machinery accelerated the process of bringing in crops and removed the romantic aspect of harvesting as hard work.

Celebrations on the evening of American Thanksgiving in Düsseldorf tend to take place more among foreign friends than in restaurants.

By Vincent Green, Jan 3 2022

Artist performing on carpet


Art venues and museums in Düsseldorf regularly present selections of their fine pieces in well arranged exhibitions. Regular exhibits also include fascinating or rare works from across the globe with loaned art and artefacts.

Boules balls on sandy play area


Happenings vary from celebrations, marking an opening or anniversary to a market or one-off concerts and activities. Information for the expat community to acquire an insight on such unique events and gatherings large or small.

Welcome to Düsseldorf

Big city business and small town charm unite to create a vibrant and safe choice of relocation for expats. Modern and old architecture sit comfortably alongside wide river banks and charming urban districts. Enjoy the city!

The old city hall in winter twilight