Facts & Customs About Silvester in Germany – New Year

Facts about Silvester in Germany

The new year’s eve is a time to celebrate the passing of the old year and looking forward to a new year with new resolutions, hopes, and a firm faith that the coming year will bring luck, prosperity, and joy. This is why people travel to new places to celebrate the dawn of the new year. In many regions, the peak tourist season is new year’s eve and the new year. Germany is a wonderful place to celebrate new year’s eve. Why wait? Get ready to have a unique time and experience new year’s eve in Germany with your Schengen Germany visa. When you are in Germany remember to do as Germans do and try out the following practices on new year’s eve. Read on about a few of the customs and practices you will observe in Germany. You will certainly enjoy celebrating new year’s eve and new year’s day, the German way.

Celebrate ‘Silvester’

New year’s eve is traditionally called Silvester in honor of Pope Sylvester I, who died on December 31st, 335. The non-believers around him are supposed to have died by choking on fish bones. Some superstitious people avoid fish on Silvester. But for many Germans, Carps are considered lucky charms, and they insist on having it on Silvester. They also believe that keeping a carp scale in your purse will keep your purse full.

Enjoy a late and long supper

It’s a tradition to have a long meal on new year’s eve and new year’s day. One of the favorite foods is Fondue. which can be eaten slowly and for several hours as the last meal of the old year. Other foods are Raclette or hot stone dinners. The traditional belief is that “He who eats well through the New Year will be satiated all year long.” Many foods, considered to bring luck and good fortune, are served on new year’s day. Another tradition is to eat Berliners, which are doughnut like yeast pastries that are filled with fruit jams. You eat them right after the new year is ushered in.

New Year's in Germany

Watch the cult classic show ‘Dinner for One’

‘Dinner for one’ is a short British cabaret sketch from the 1920s. But funnily, this show has become a new year’s eve tradition for the Germans. Though this show is almost unknown in Britain, it has become a cult show in Germany and other European countries. It has entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most repeated television show of all time and has a commemorative stamp for the 55th anniversary of its first broadcast. All Germans know that it’s the beginning of the new year when they watch this show. You will enjoy the show about a ninety-year-old woman and her tipsy butler.  “The same procedure as last year, Madam? – The same procedure as every year, James.” are the lines that every German knows and enjoys hearing on new year’s eve.

Welcome the new year with fireworks

Germans enthusiastically welcome the new year with fireworks. You will be astounded at the quantity and variety of fireworks bought by the citizens. The whole sky is lit up with fireworks on new year’s eve. You find adults and children gathered around corners, setting off their fireworks. Children too set off the fireworks and enjoy the noise and display during these days. This goes on for the next couple of nights too, until the stocks are depleted. Traditionally it is believed that loud noises will drive out evil spirits and bring luck.

 Predicting the future

Germans like to know how the new year will turn out for them, and they have interesting ways to predict the future. An old practice was to heat some lead in a spoon and pour it over water.  Looking at the shape formed, the person’s fate for the coming year was predicted. After lead was banned, tin and wax are now used as safer alternatives. When the hot tin or wax solidifies, the resulting shape is interpreted and the future predicted. This may lead to hot debates on the prediction, thus adding to the fun. Another way was to open the Bible at random and read a passage from it. Then discuss what it could mean for the new year. Some predict the new year through the gummy bear oracle where you pick five gummy bears at random. The colors you pick predict the future. Or, ask questions as you swing a pendulum. If it swings clockwise the answer is yes, if anti-clockwise the answer is no.

Common traditions like making new resolutions, wishing each other a happy new year, hugging and kissing your near and dear ones, gifting lucky charms, etc. are also followed in Germany. If you want to experience a special new year’s eve, then head to Germany.

One piece of advice is to book your tickets to Germany well in advance to celebrate New Year’s in Germany, and also plan your arrival to Germany airports a few days ahead of time, as the tourist crowd is sure to swell around this time of year in Germany. If you prefer a quaint New Year’s Eve with all the traditional elements but less buzz, you can escape to quaint townships and hidden gems of Germany that are more serene and less crowded than popular cities. However, a New Year’s celebration is filled with good food and good times and you are sure to cherish it forever.

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