The Berlin International Film Festival – also known as Berlinale – has become one of the film industry’s most prestigious annual events taking place every February. Established by the Americans after the Second World War, it was started in 1951 as an attempt to bring back some of the culture and romance that had been synonymous with the city during the Golden Twenties. With around 230,000 tickets sold every year it is considered the largest publicly-attended film festival worldwide. The Berlinale is divided into different sections, each with its own unique profile: big international movies, independent and art-house productions, movies especially for a young audience, etc.
Almost every large town in Germany now celebrates CSD (in other countries known as Gay Pride). CSDs are considered political parades, but on the other hand, they are often compared to carnival processions or techno parades. A typical Christopher Street Day Parade includes floats as well as walking groups. Berlin’s CSD takes place on (or around) June 27. It is held in memory of the first big uprising of homosexuals against police assaults that took place in New York’s Christopher Street in Greenwich Village on June 27, 1969.
Increasing popularity and commercialization have led to an alternative CSD in Berlin, the so-called “Kreuzberger CSD” or “Transgenial CSD.”
The Fête de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is a music festival taking place on the summer solstice (June 21). It began in France and has since spread to over one hundred cities. The purpose is to promote music in two ways: Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to perform in the streets. Many free concerts are organized, making all genres of music accessible to the public. In Berlin, the Fête de la Musique has been taking place since 1995 with life bands and music groups performing all over the city on open stages during the day and in cafés and concert halls during the night.
The Carnival of Cultures takes place every year over the Whitsun weekend in Berlin’s district Kreuzberg. It presents the cultural and ethnic diversity of Berlin with a four-day celebration, including a parade on Whit Sunday. The Carnival of Cultures is regarded as a platform for a proud expression of hybrid cultural identities, containing traditional and contemporary elements. In 2008, over 1.5 million visitors celebrated the street festival and the parade in which 4.500 professionals and non-professionals performers took part.