International festivals in Munich 2020

St. Patrick's Day Parade in München am 17.3.2019, Foto: Immanuel Rahman
Foto: Immanuel Rahman

Celebrate the cultural diversity of Munich - we have 5 tips for you

Munich is an international city, and home to residents from over 180 countries in the world. More than a quarter of the population come from abroad. Many of them still keep their culture alive, hereby enriching our city with local customs and making it even more colourful. To experience Munich's cultural diversity, here are 5 international festivals you should not miss!

St. Patricks Day - 3/15/2020

The Irish celebrate St. Patrick's Day (a national holiday in Ireland), and do so in a cheerful way. In mid-March, Munich's city centre is transformed into a 'green sea' of people - thanks to the Irish community. This year's St. Patrick's Day is the 25th of its kind to be held in Munich. One of the main highlights is the Huge parade on March 15, to showcase the rich culture of the Irish people. More than 1,300 participants, including highlanders, rugby players and leprechauns, are expected to march from Münchner Freiheit (in the Schwabing district), all the way to Odeonsplatz. Make sure to grab a bottle of chilled Irish beer and don't miss this spectacle of music, dance and other amazing shows. The event starts with an 'Irish Night', the day before.

Another highlight is the 'greening' of some sights of Munich on March 17 - the actual St. Patrick's Day. In recent years, the Neue Rathaus (New City Hall), the Allianz Arena (football stadium) and the Olympiaturm (Olympic Tower) are known to display the Irish national colour on the day.

When? 3/15/2020. Always on the Sunday before the official St. Patrick's Day (3/17)
Where? From Münchner Freiheit to Odeonsplatz
More info (German)

Balkantage (Balkan Days) - 3/5 to 4/5/2020

Die 11. Balkantage in München, Foto: Balkantage
Foto: Balkantage

The Balkans is one of the most beautiful, yet underestimated places in Europe. The area is often associated with conflict, poverty and certain culinary clichés. However, they have a rich culture and the 'Balkan Day' is the perfect opportunity for you to experience it. In various locations around Munich, there are celebrations, exhibitions, film days and concerts bring you closer to all the facets of this southeastern Europe region. This year's 14th edition is themed "Women in the Balkans - Where is respect?", and illuminates this highly important subject from various perspectives.

When? 3/5 to 4/5/2020. Annually, during spring
Where? Various locations in Munich
More info (German)

Feast yourself all around the world in Munich
The overview with the international restaurants
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Vesakh Festival (Buddha Day) - 5/9/2020

Vesakh Fest im Westpark, Foto: Vauelle
Foto: Vauelle

In May every year, Buddhists in Munich celebrate their most important festival - The Buddha Day - in a calm and relaxed way. This event comes with a spiritual program at Westpark, and it's done in the traditional East Asian style. At the Nepal Pagoda, the Japanese Garden and the Thai Sala in Munich's Westpark, you can watch ceremonial dances, meditations and ceremonies, listen to Far Eastern music and taste Vietnamese, Thai and Tibetan delicacies. From the entrance of the Buddha statue at the beginning of the event, to the evening light procession at the end, the Buddhist community entertains and 'touches' you.

When? 5/9/2020. The Saturday after the first full moon in May every year.
Where? The western area of Westpark
More info (German)

Japan Festival (Japanfest) - 7/19/2020

Das Japanfest am Japanischen Teehaus im Englischen Garten in München entführt Besucher in das Land der untergehenden Sonne., Foto: Lolita Büttner
Foto: Lolita Büttner

Konnichi wa! Come with us to the Land of the Rising Sun - at the middle of the English Garden (Englischer Garten) in Munich. Marvel at karate (martial arts), draw a bow, taste Japanese dishes, learn about religious ceremonies, music and dance or be enchanted by cosplayers. This year, the 25th annual Japan Festival holding in Munich, takes you on a journey into this ancient culture - which maintains its traditions but is still open to modernity. At the Japanese teahouse, you get to witness fascinating performances, display of skills, and also join in a series of activities.

When? 7/19/2020. Every third Sunday of July
Englischer Garten, around the Japanese teahouse Kanshoan
More info (German)

Ander Art Festival - 9/26/2020

Creative, mind blowing and unifying: At the Ander Art Festival, several cultures of Munich come together at Odeonsplatz to celebrate. Usually held on the second Saturday of Oktoberfest, it's an event where Klezmer meets Afrobeat, Bavarian local music meets Latin sounds, and the Balkans meet the Orient. This open-air festival aims at encouraging cultural interactions - amidst concerts, shows, performances and exhibitions. Here, Munich residents and artists from all over the world celebrate, dance and meet each other.

When? 9/26/2020. Every year, on the second Saturday of the Oktoberfest
Where? Odeonsplatz
More info (German) 

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