New Year is popularly called as Neujahr in Germany. It is celebrated on January 1, the first day of the first month of the Georgian calendar. People in Germany hold lot of fervor and zeal for the New Year celebrations.
Many efforts go into planning to ensure a grand farewell to the old year and much grander welcome to the New Year. New Year Eve is called as ‘Sylvester’ in Germany, as a mark of honor to the Saint Sylvester, who used to live in Germany in fourth century.
Saint Sylvester is credited as the one who mended leprosy, and baptized Constantine the Great, the Roman Ruler. Saint Sylvester is also credited as the only Pope to have met the recognized members of the family of Jesus.
New Year Celebrations in Germany
Majestic parties are thrown all over the Germany in discotheques, pubs, clubs, restaurants, and hotels. Throngs of people come in these parties to eat, drink, sing, dance, and celebrate New Year. These jollity parties initiate on the New Year’s Eve and go on the entire night to finish on the next morning. With the arrival of New Year, every one present in the party share wishes with others, and make resolutions for the next year. The most grand and famous parties occur at Brandenburg Tor in Berlin, which saw thousands of people from Germany as well as outside Germany marking their presence to have an extraordinary New Year experience.
However, not everyone wishes to be a part of these grand social parties, but rather prefer to have a more public celebration, where only friends, families, and close people are invited. As soon as clock at the midnight turns twelve, people exchange wishes, hugs and kisses one another, and open up champagne bottles to illustrate their pleasure for the moment. Lighting up fireworks and crafting them in beautiful sequence is also a major part of New Year celebrations in Germany.
Traditional New Year Celebrations in Germany
People in Germany intently abide with their customs and traditions while celebrating New Year. There are many such traditions, with few of them being immensely popular among German people. One such tradition is of foretelling the future of the coming year, which is called as ‘Bleigiessen’. It is performed by falling molten lead in cold water. The shape then formed in the water is considered as the basis of the predictions made for the future of a person. For instance, a heart or ring shaped formation suggests wedding, a ship shaped formation suggests journey or travelling, a pig shaped formation suggests abundance of food, etc.
In Germany, there is a major following for the tradition of leaving a bit of the New Year’s Eve food till the midnight, till the time New Year arrives. There is a traditional belief that doing so confers plenty of food for the entire coming year. Also, a dish of carp or herring (special dish of fish), and carrots and cabbage on the platter, along with champagne raised for a toast on New Year’s Eve is considered to be bring financial stability for the coming year. Also, people share meat and cheese with close friends and family members over the feast. Also, lentil soup with wieners is another popular dish for the evening, which is prepared few days ago before the big day.