New Year’s Day, like Christmas Eve, is not a public holiday in Germany. Shops can open on these days, provided that December 24 is a working day.
This rule is governed by the Federal Store Closure Act or the Federal State Store Opening Acts in all federal states except Bavaria. If Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday before Catholic Christmas, the rules in the federal states may differ.
Under the current law, retail grocery stores: supermarkets, discounters and hypermarkets can open their doors to shoppers on Christmas Eve. But they don’t have to work that day. Bakeries, flower shops and the sale of Christmas trees are regulated by special rules. Gas stations, pharmacies and shops at train stations, airports or ferry ports can be open all day on 24 December.
Stores in all federal states are closed for Christmas
Under the law, shops have the right to determine their own opening hours on Christmas Eve. Unless otherwise agreed, shops must close on December 24 no later than 2 pm. In Bavaria, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and the Saar, the restriction on the operation of shops on this day is valid from 6:00 to 14:00. At train stations, airports, etc., supermarkets may remain open until 17:00.
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