The “pot,” as the Ruhr is known, often comes to a boil between Duisburg and Dortmund.
The year-long party gets off to a good start in February when Carnival is celebrated with abandon.
The festivities come to a head on Rose Monday with a town center parade in every Ruhr city worthy of its name.
On Ash Wednesday, the “fifth season of the year” comes to an end, and many other city fairs and festivals look forward to a rush of visitors.
After a short breather in March when Ruhris recuperate, it’s “all aboard” on Easter for the Easter fairs in Bochum, Dortmund and Essen.
Aficionados of culture get their money’s worth at the oldest, largest and most famous theater festival in Europe, starting in May.
Then the plays for the six-week-long Ruhr Festival begin in Recklinghausen.
Another event, the Extra Shift, is well-known outside the region.
Also called the Night of Industrial Culture, it puts a spotlight on the entire region, too.
As part of the celebrations, venerable industrial monuments become illuminated sculptures and stages for music and performances.
From then on, the party really gets going. One city festival after another comes and goes.
One highlight is the Rü Fest, named after its venue, Rüttenscheider Straße, in Essen.
Once a year in June, the shopping and entertainment area is transformed into a 2 km party strip – a tradition since 1988.
There’s live music and all kinds of fun and entertainment on 10 stages, for young and old alike.
The Wanne Moon Nights and the Boulevard Fest, both in Herne, are just as much fun.
But when Bochum calls in July, people stream “deep into the West, where the sun is dusty,” for “Bochum Total,” its free music festival.
They quickly find that it’s “much better than people think,” as Herbert Grönemeyer sang in his love song to Bochum.
The “pot” really starts cooking then.
Already heavily visited, the Bermuda triangle, Bochum’s famous and infamous nightlife quarter, becomes a huge attraction with a million visitors.
Those with enough staying power can celebrate their way through numerous Ruhr city festivals until October.
Life doesn’t become reflective again until Autumn Lights in October.
At this festival, Maximilianpark in Hamm and its emblem, the Glass Elephant, are immersed in colorful lights.
At the close of the year in the Ruhr, you naturally can’t miss out on a well-made mulled wine from the region.
You find it at the numerous Christmas markets in the various Ruhr towns.
Ruhris fortify themselves once more before they go into a well-earned hibernation after New Year’s Eve...