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Johannisnacht Mainz

From June 21 to 24, 2024, for four days, right in the heart of Mainz!

More than 55 years ago, Johannisnacht in Mainz was created to honor Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of movable type printing and will this year once again offer a rich selection of art, concerts and creative activities. 
During the festival days in the city center and along the Rhine, there will be a varied program for all age groups, including street art, stage performances by Mainz bands and guests from all over Germany. The book and artists’ market, the traditional Gautschen, a custom for welcoming printers and media designers into the guild, and the sailing regatta are fixed components of the program. Johannisnacht also offers a variety of rides and hands-on activities in the spirit of Gutenberg.

Johannisnacht 2024 C Landeshauptstadt MainzJohannisnacht 2024 © Landeshauptstadt Mainz sascha kopp

Gutenberg, history and customs

In 1968, the year of the 500th anniversary of Johannes Gutenberg’s death, Karl Delorme, then head of the social affairs department and himself a trained printer, launched the folk festival. Since then, the memory of the great inventor Johannes Gutenberg has been celebrated – particularly vividly around Johannes Day on June 24.

One of the popular traditions is the “Gautschen”, the baptism of the printers. This old guild custom symbolically washes away the sins of the apprenticeship years and the lead dust – in a large wooden barrel filled with water. Nowadays, media designers in particular are baptized on stage in a cheerful and lively manner. Another historical element is the Preisquadräteln, a medieval dice game played by the printers’ guild. It traditionally takes place on the Gutenberg stage on Saturday afternoon before the Gautschen. The Gutenberg Museum and Foundation also have a lot to offer.

Carousels and art, concerts and culinary delights

Johannisnacht stretches along the banks of the Rhine from the Kaisertor to the Weintor and from Fischtorplatz via Liebfrauenplatz to Schillerplatz. In addition to carousels and other rides, there is an artists’ market along the banks of the Rhine. The market offers handmade products and a variety of creative ideas in the areas of jewelry, clothing, decoration and gifts. There is plenty on offer on the stages, whether rock or romantic, salsa, swing, soul or satire. Enjoy Rhine-Hessian wine, sparkling wine and culinary delights.

Book markets
If you love books, you can explore a large selection during the festival, not only at the Johannis book market on Schillerplatz but also in the library’s gate hall at Grebenstraße 8.

Artistic flair: street art for the festival
Look forward to a colorful street art program. Back again: “Bubbles for fun” with giant soap bubbles. The “Compagnie les Contes d’Asphaldt” will be touring the city with their mobile puppet theater. The bagpipe players from Moguntia Pipes & Drums and the street dance group “NOSOUNDEXPERIENCE” from Freiburg provide musical entertainment on the streets. The ZEBRA stilt theater with its typographic costumes is dedicated to Gutenberg’s life and work, as is the theater bicycle by Jörn Kölling. On the banks of the Rhine in the artists’ market area, ensembles from Haus Burgund and a barrel organ orchestra will be performing. Mademoiselle Prrrr, dressed as a cloud, will also be playing the tuba there for the first time.

FeuerwerkFireworks over the Rhine
Delight and excite on Monday evening, the traditional fireworks display over the Rhine, at the height of the Electoral Palace.

Marvel at the spectacle from the riverbank or from the Theodor Heuss Bridge from 10.30 pm!

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