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Hannover’s event highlights 2016

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From spectacular fireworks to wild animals, swinging jazz to powerful voices and gay waltzes, from fresh lakeside breeze to panoramic view: in 2016, the calendar in Hannover is again full to the brim with fantastic funfairs, gripping concerts, sporting highlights and unforgettable cultural events. What’s more, the coming year is packed with anniversaries which will be duly celebrated with entertaining programmes. The “Little Festival in the Great Garden”, Lake Maschsee Festival and the TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL Festival.

With funfairs, musical events, sporting highlights or festivals, there’s something to suit every taste. At the world’s biggest Marksmen’s Festival, age-old tradition is paired with modern-day entertainments. Hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy themselves on roundabouts, in marquees and at the traditional Marksmen’s Parade through the city centre. The Maschsee Lake Festival is one of the most popular attractions in north Germany with its exceptional maritime atmosphere at the heart of Hannover. Each year, for 19 days it’s a place to linger and party. With Hannover’s own lake as the backdrop, cocktail bars, live music, activities for kids and a range of culinary treats attract visitors from near and far.

Hannover sounds good

“enercity swinging hannover” on Ascension day turns the place into a jazz mecca. Open-air fans also head for the Fährmannsfest, the NDR Plaza Festival with an all-star cast, or one of the many concerts in the Swiss Life Hall and HDI Arena. “Make music” is the motto of the global music festival “Fête de la Musique”. Each year on 21 June, Hannover and other several hundred cities celebrate the biggest festival worldwide that promotes tolerance and understanding among nations. Numerous bands fill Hannover’s streets, squares, galleries or churches with music of all types. The “MASALA World Beat Festival” and the “A cappella week” also provide plenty of opportunity for discovering new musical talents, while major rock and pop concerts are staged in the TUI Arena, EXPO Plaza and HDI Arena. The “Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover” also attracts highly talented musicians from all over the world. With artists from home and abroad, the “Kultursommer”, or summer of culture, takes its audience on a musical excursion in castles, churches or monasteries in the Hannover region. 

Clear the stage for top-level cultural events

And on stage, guests can expect the superlative in opera and theatre too. For example, Hannover’s opera ball sets the scene for a magnificent party – each year under a different motto. New interpretations of traditional classics and modern premieres captivate audiences. And during the dance programme at Easter, international companies transform the city into a capital of dance. At TANZtheater INTERNATIONAL in late summer, it’s all about contemporary dance, urban dance styles and ground-breaking dance productions. The GOP Variety Theatre has achieved a first-class reputation across the world and puts on comedy and magic, accompanied by music and cabaret. The many museums, such as the internationally renowned Sprengel Museum Hannover, August Kestner Museum, kestnergesellschaft, the Wilhelm Busch – German Museum for Caricature and Critical Graphic Arts, or the Lower Saxony State Museum (Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum), hold a range of top exhibitions.

The famous Herrenhausen Gardens are also a superb setting for prestigious cultural events. The Herrenhausen Palace was destroyed 70 years ago and has just been rebuilt, adding a further attraction. The Herrenhausen Palace Museum is a facility sponsored by the state capital of Hannover and the Federal State of Lower Saxony. In summer, the Royal Gardens of Herrenhausen also become the picturesque location for the arts festival KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen. The world’s leading pyrotechnic experts cause a stir at the International Fireworks Competition when they fill the evening skies with explosive works of art made up of light and music. Dancers, pantomime artists and musicians abound in the Baroque gardens during the “Little Festival in the Great Garden”. And during the colder season, classical concerts and winter cabaret take place in the Orangery. 

City of diversity

As a trade fair and event city, Hannover stands in the international spotlight every year. Hannover is the venue for CeBIT, the world’s biggest annual computer show, as well as other major trade exhibitions. Especially for young researchers, there is a lot to discover at the IdeenExpo. A mix of workshops, interactive-exhibits, live experiments and pop concerts in the evening awaits them. Hannover is also a top venue when it comes to sports. There’s a choice of thrilling soccer matches by successful Bundesliga team Hannover 96, or the professional handball team from TSV Hannover Burgdorf (called the “Recken”, which translates as “The Warriors”). And then there’s the Hannover Marathon with participants from all over the world, or the Velo Challenge. All of these are dates sport fans should put in their diaries.

Animal lovers can look forward to breath-taking shows and feeding times at Hannover’s Adventure Zoo. With its seven marvellous themed worlds and a unique way of showing the animals in modern enclosures similar to their natural environments, visitors can expect to see animals up close and personal on an exciting trip round the Globe.

From the beginning of December to mid-January, the Adventure Zoo also transforms into a superb winter wonderland with a toboggan run and ice rink, a winter village and huge snow globe.

Another highlight in winter are the Christmas markets that envelop the city in a Yuletide atmosphere with sparkling lights, the smell of roasted almonds, pine needles and punch, cosy log cabins and beautiful art and crafts. From the end of November, visitors can soak up the joy of Christmas in the Old Town with its historical and Finnish Christmas villages, the wishing well forest and Christmas markets in front of the station, on the Lister Meile pedestrian zone and in many other places in the Hannover region.

A diverse range of events in this holiday region promises relaxation and the big outdoors at its best. The Deistertag heralds the start of the hiking season, the midsummer festival at Wisentgehege Bison Reserve in Springe has wolves howling in all their glory, and a holiday mood is everywhere during Lake Steinhude’s party weekend.

Hannover Marketing und Tourismus GmbH (HMTG) has put together some enjoyable packages of highlights including nights in attractive hotels for guests who wish to discover the different facets Hannover Region has to offer.

For information about a trip to Hannover visit  

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