Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Eve - German style

Happy New Year's Eve eve :)
Some of you may remember a few weeks back, my friend Jutta and I did a Christmas Traditions exchange post. She shared her German traditions here and I shared my Southern/American traditions with her readers. We decided to do this again, for New Year's Eve.

Thanks so much Jutta for sharing with us. Stop by her blog to read about mine. New Year's Eve Traditions CLICK HERE

Another year is almost over, lots of things happened – some good, some not so good – we grew in personality and knowledge and learned many new things! These are things you can say at the end of every year! 
New Years is celebrated so different in every country. While some only see it as a way to party and let loose for one night, Germans take the whole thing a little more serious. 
It all starts with the “rule” of not being allowed to hang washed clothes anymore between Christmas and New Years, because this means, that someone of the family will die the next year. 
Since I have a drier, I don’t worry too much about it, but driers are not common in German households, so for most of us this means a huge pile of dirty laundry right when the new year begins ;) 
On December 31st EVERYONE in Germany is having the same traditions! We have dinner at about 5pm. It has to be a lentil stew! We believe that if you don’t eat lentils on the last day of the year, you will run out of money the next year. Our lentil stew is traditionally very thick with lots of sausage and flour dumplings. 
The time after dinner is spend with the family and at 7pm we all gather around the TV to watch “Dinner for One” – the funniest 20 minute show ever! I love it and roll on the floor laughing every year  :D  If you have never seen it, you HAVE to go on youtube and watch it, it’s so hilarious! 

After the show we get dressed, count through our rockets, polish the guns and lay the kids to sleep for a few hours. 
As soon as they are in their bed, we open the champagne and serve appetizers. Typical appetizers are deviled eggs with caviar, salmon baguettes and cream cheese balls. 

Other than that we have Bomboloni – I guess you could say it’s the Italian way of a doughnut. 
This is also the time were the neighbors come to your house and everyone shares lots of laughs and makes fun of all the bad things that happened this year. 

Click below for the recipe:
Bomboloni Italian Donuts

The kids will be woken up at about 11 p.m. to do the famous “tin pouring”. You take a piece of tin, place it on a spoon and hold it over a candle until it’s melted. Then you pour it into cold water really fast. The tin piece you have created with this step will now be held between a candle and a white sheet of paper to see what shadow it makes. Maybe a dog, maybe a tree, it could be everything. Once you have decided what shadow it is, you look into the book. The book that tells you your fortune for the next year. I know, it sounds very stupid, but we hardly believe in it!

Now the kids get a little glass of champagne – Germans start drinking alcohol very early. We have our first beer with about 4 years and at about 8 or 9 years we have a glass of champagne for New Years and birthdays. 
A few minutes before midnight we pack ourselves warm into coats and scarfs, go downstairs, count down and then the huge hugging, kissing and crying part starts. Everyone is wishing a happy new year and we start shooting all our rockets. This takes about one hour. After that, the streets are so smoky, you can’t see your hand in front of your eyes.

As a younger person – like me – it’s time to say good bye to family and neighbors and go out to party with friends. New Years parties are very hardcore and last until noon the next day. 
Luckily the 1st of January is a official holiday in Germany and everything is closed, so you can sleep the whole day ;) 
Since my husband just had surgery and we don’t know anyone here in the States yet, we will have it a little more quiet this year – tho not without Dinner for One, some champagne, lentil stew and lots of laughter J 
I don’t have any appetizer or party recipes on my blog, but Dawn here has lots of the good stuff. So you might find a few things that fit to your New Years Party here.

I hope you all have a great New Years night and “slide good into the new year” (that’s how we Germans say it)



  1. This is a really good article. My Mother is German, but we never celebrated this way. I wish we would have! Sounds like so much fun. I am off to see the film. I love a good laugh.

    1. A lot of fun, yes. I remember NYE when I lived there. I lived not too far from where Jutta is from.