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The St. John?s Night (Johannisnacht) festival in Mainz is the region?s largest public festival.
The St. John?s Night (Johannisnacht) festival in Mainz is the region?s largest public festival. (Courtesy Landeshauptstadt Mainz)

GermanyFrom Friday through Monday, Mainz will celebrate Johannisnacht, a festival that honors Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press. Located around the city cathedral, the fest offers a lively program of continuous concerts and theater on five stages, a Sunday book market, crafts market, folklore shows, jousting on fishing boats and, of course, wine and food. A highlight on Saturday is the traditional baptizing of the graduating printer apprentices on a stage before the city theater. The event ends with fireworks over the Rhine River. Find more information under “Tourism” at www.mainz.de, which has an English option.

DenmarkDuring the 18th century’s Great Northern War, Peter Tordenskjold rose to vice admiral in the Danish-Norwegian navy and became a naval hero known for his daring attacks on Swedish ships, regardless of the odds of winning. That historic maritime atmosphere will be re-created in Frederikshavn’s harbor starting Friday during a festival called Days of Tordenskjold — the Year is 1717.Hundreds of re-enactors from Denmark, Sweden and Norway will take part. Highlights include period music and food, cannons and weaponry, fencing, ships in the harbor, crafts and a sea battle. See www.tordenskjold.dk, which has an English option, for more details.

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