Frohes Neues Jahr
There are many ways to celebrate the new year and as with most holidays, the Germans also have some favorite ways that they like to bring in the new year. I was lucky enough to have spent Silvester in Berlin from 1989 going into 1990. The wall had just opened and everything was still very new to both sides of Germany. I was visiting family in West Berlin for the holidays and we decided to see if we could cross the border to see the celebrations from the other side. You could definitely see the uncertainty in some people’s faces as we took public transportation across the border. We gathered in a wide open space by the Brandenburg Gate and watched the euphory unfold in front of our very eyes. It was definitely contagious and you felt as if you were one big family. People were helping other people to climb up on the wall, others were hammering away at the wall and handing out the pieces that came tumbling down.
What that Silvester had in common with many other New Year celebrations in Germany was the large gathering of people in common squares in big cities, the fireworks and sparklers going off, lots of champagne (Sekt) being drunk and the feeling that we were all celebrating the same thing. During the days leading up to the first of January there are other traditions that the Germans love as well. Marzipan pigs, chocolate lady bugs and four leaf clovers are some of the good luck symbols that Germans like to give each other. I still have a few of my good luck marzipan pigs.
To learn more about this holiday, here are some links: