Ladies and Gentlemen! It is the year 2013!!! I can’t believe how quickly 2012 passed!!! How was your New Year’s eve? We spent our night with lovely friends sitting together, eating some raclette and enjoying the fireworks at midnight – just a typical German New Year’s Eve.
But there are some more traditions many Germans, including me, follow each year and I would like to share with you my most favourite New Year’s Eve activities:
Dinner for One
This is probably THE most popular German thing to watch on TV every New Year’s eve. Almost every channel is showing it at least once that day. Even though, the whole thing is in English (no idea why as it is not really known in English speaking countries…), everybody can understand what is going on. It is just funny to watch but look for yourself:
Ein Herz und eine Seele – Silvesterpunsch
Another typical New Year’s Eve TV programme is this half hour episode of an old German TV show called “Ein Herz und eine Seele”. The main character of this show is Alfred who behaves like an old bastard treating his family badly while getting drunk on rum which is supposed to be the punch for New Year’s Eve with a special and secret recipe…My most favourite line of the episode is
Son: “What are the ingredients of the punch?”
Son: “And what else?”
Alfred: “Well, nothing else! That is the secret…”
If you are not German, you probably have no idea what I am talking about but this great activity is usually done on New Year’s Eve to tell the fortune of the upcoming year. Above a candle flame, you melt little lead figures in a spoon and then you pour it into cold water. Afterwards, you try to guess what the figure, which arises in the water, looks like. A list of figures and fortunes then tells your fortune for next year. Unfortunately, this year, we did not have enough time to do lead pouring but we will certainly do it again in the future!
Gummy Bear Oracle
This is something not everybody does in Germany but I think it is another nice tradition to tell your fortune for next year. Especially as nobody ever finds a lead figure in the water that somehow resembles anything on the list of fortunes… with the Gummy Bear Oracle, everybody gets a decent fortune.
The whole idea is that you pull 5 gummy bears out of the bag. Depending on the combination of colours, a special book tells you your detailed fortune for the upcoming year. Here is what my combination looked like for 2013:
This combination was telling me that I am too critical with myself and others and that I should use all my power for different things instead in 2013. Well, lets go ahead and keep calm!
I love Fortune Cookies!! I know, this is not typical German as you can get fortune cookies basically everywhere in the world but New Year’s Eve is the perfect occasion to have them!
New Year’s Eve Dinner
I also love setting the table for New Year’s Eve. Here is how it looked like yesterday night:
I bought little marzipan and chocolate pigs that are supposed to bring good luck. Everybody had some lucky charms on their plates.
Food was amazing yesterday! Of course, we had way too much food for just 6 people but sitting around the raclette grill, heating up food and eat while having a great love with friends is total fun and a great way to spend the night before midnight on New Year’s eve.
Many people in Germany actually have raclette or fondue for dinner on the 31st of December.
New Year’s Celebrations
At midnight, people typically gather outside with a glass of sparkling wine to welcome the new year. Also, we light fireworks ourselves which is allowed in Germany and every family does it. I am a bit scared of all this fireworks handled by amateurs and usually I stay away from it and just enjoy the beautiful pictures in the sky while only lighting sparklers myself.
Unfortunately, the pictures of the other fireworks did not come out as great as I hoped for so this is the only decent picture that I took of this year’s fireworks.
What New Year’s Eve traditions do you have in your country/family/group of friends? I am so curious so please tell me!
Now, it is time to enjoy the first free day of the new year before going back to work tomorrow! I wish you all the best for 2013 and hope that all your new year’s resolutions (if you have any and are not a non-believer like me) will come true!