Tradition and customs are deeply rooted in Bavaria. All across the region, long-held traditions continue to be celebrated. World-famous events like the Oktoberfest in Munich or the Nuremberg Christmas Market attract locals and visitors in equal measure, as do the many smaller festivals and traditions such as the Viehscheid (cattle drive), the Drachenstich Festival (Slaying of the Dragon) or Franconia’s Osterbrunnen (traditional well decoration).
Customs brought to life all the year round: religious feast days see the breakneck Hornschlittenrennen (traditional sledge race) during carnival time in winter and the traditional Maypole celebrations in the spring, plus splendid processions like the Kötztinger Pfingstritt (Whitsun ride) with hundreds of riders and the Corpus Christi procession at Lake Staffelsee. Major historical dramas, from the Kaltenberger Ritterturnier (knights’ tournament) to the famous Kinderzeche (children’s feast) in Dinkelsbühl, are reenacted in the summer. In the autumn, the Almabtrieb (cattle drive) is celebrated in style, as are the Weinfeste (wine festivals) in the charming Franconian wine villages. As well as the world-famous Oktoberfest and the glittering Christmas markets held against historic backdrops in Munich, Nuremberg, Regensburg and Augsburg, many other places have traditional events that are well worth a visit – from the Kiliani folk festival in Würzburg and Straubing’s Gäubodenfest to the Kaufbeurer Tänzelfest, the oldest children’s festival in Bavaria.