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Travel

Germany's Top Five

Ravensburg revels, Berlin bares all, and Hockenheim gears up for action in DW-WORLD's guide to German events this week.

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Rutenfest parade: No longer picking their punishment


Curious to learn about Germany's old world traditions? Then check out Ravenburg's Rutenfest (cane festival), a centuries-old party. The name stems from the curious medieval habit teachers and their pupils had of going out in the fields to cut fresh cane at the end of the school year. The cane was intended for disciplining the students when class started up again. After the work was done everyone would settle down to dance and play games. Nowadays, the cane is never put to use and the whole city gets involved in the festivities, which will take place from July 22-26 this year.

Okay, so you probably won't get to rub shoulders with Hedi Slimane or Tom Ford, but Berlin will be bursting at the seams with up and coming, and established fashion designers, and the buyers watching them, at three major trade shows this weekend. Bread & Butter, the grandaddy of them all, will look to build on the success it experienced with its first venture outside of the German capital, in Barcelona in early July. Premium, which likes to think of itself as the hipper, more underground of the two major fairs, will showcase hundreds of designers in a former postal train station. Finally, yearling B in Berlin will feature menswear collections. All trade shows take place from July 22 to the 24.

Das Boot, Wolfgang Petersen

"Das Boot," 1980

If you feel odd just thinking about watching a movie in a cloister, a bowling alley or some other "weird" place, then you should definitely consider the Frankfurt Cinema Week, organized by the German Film Museum. Where else would you get a chance to experience the claustrophobic world of a World War II submarine boat while watching the German classic "Das Boot" in the basement of a press house at 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit)? Fortunately, not all venues require warm clothing! The festival runs from July 15 - 22.

Every year, four million visitors flock to Kirmes, the spectacular, state-of-the art fun fair in the city of Düsseldorf. Although the rides are a more recent invention, midsummer festivities have been taking place on the banks of the Rhine since 1316, including the traditional parade of the St. Sebastian marksmen's guild and the celebration of St. Apollinaris, the patron saint of Düsseldorf. The festival takes place from July 16-24.

Fernando Alonso und Michael Schumacher in San Marino

Spain's Alonso celebrates as he returns to pits in front of Germany's Michael Schumacher at the end of the San Marino Grand Prix in Italy on April 24.

If you've got a hankering for speed, make your way to Hockenheim to watch Formula One car racing on Sunday. Ahead of the 12th in the 19-race season, Germany's Michael Schumacher may be 34 points behind current Formula One leader Fernando Alonso of Spain, but he has insisted it's not over yet. The seven-time world champion could again prove himself to be tough competition on home turf at Hockenheim.

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