In German traditions

Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Germany

Learn about New Year's Eve traditions in Germany.

Wondering how we celebrate New Year’s Eve here in Stuttgart? Let me introduce you to some traditions for New Year’s Eve in Germany:

New Year’s Eve in Germany requires Raclette

Whenever you invite guests for dinner, the big question is what you should cook for them. Not on New Year’s Eve in Germany 🙂 OF COURSE there will be raclette, a semi-hard cow’s milk cheese that is prepared directly on the table in an electric table-top grill with small pans. Next to the cheese, you put all sorts of ingredients in the pans, like corn, pearl onion, pineapple and potatoes for example. Then you put the pan into the electric grill and wait till the cheese starts to bubble. Enjoy!

New Years Eve in Germany Raclette

No New Year’s Eve in Germany is complete without watching “Dinner for one”

This tradition has been around for decades. Every NYE many German friends and families gather around the tv or computer after dinner to watch THE Silvester highlight: “Dinner for one” is an old single-take black-and-white comedy sketch from 1963. Don’t worry if you don’t speak German as you can definitely enjoy it anyway because it is in English! 🙂 I honestly don’t know why it is so big here on Silvester as it doesn’t even have to do with NYE!

It is about the 9oth birthday of Miss Sophie, a rich English lady. She is hosting a birthday party but unfortunately all of her old friends have passed away. But Miss Sophie is a lucky girl because there is her butler, James. He helps her make the dinner as lively and happy as it has been when her friends were still alive. James plays the roles of all the guests, mimics their ways of talking and he toasts to the birthday girl many times. Obviously the alcohol makes his head dizzy and it becomes more and more difficult for him to get through the dinner. And then there is this annoying head of a tiger skin lying on the floor… But see for yourselves 🙂

Link to youtube (terms and conditions of youtube apply when you follow this link)

Find out what the new year holds in stock for you and wish for good luck

Another tradition for New Year’s Eve in Germany is Bleigießen (Molybdomancy or lead pouring) – which is done with wax instead of lead nowadays. You can buy small packages that contain the wax and a spoon in supermarkets. On New Years Eve you fill a small bucket with water and light a candle. Then Bleigießen can start: Put one of the wax pieces (they come in different shapes, like a pig, a horseshoe, a heart…) in the spoon and hold it over the candle until it starts to melt. Then you have to be quick! Bring the spoon above the bucket and pour the wax into the water. It will cool down immediately and freeze in a certain shape. Now you have to be creative. What does the wax look like? And what could this mean for you in the coming year? Insider tip from an experienced fortune-teller ;-): If you have no clue what the metal looks like, hold it in front of the candle and look at its shadow on the wall. That might help.

Obviousely everybody hopes for good luck on New Year’s Eve. In Germany pigs, four-leaved cloverleaves, mushrooms with red hats and chimney sweepers are said to bring good fortune. We like to present our friends (or ourselves) with sweets that symolize these lucky charms.

New Years Eve Bleigiessen and lucky charms

Start into the new year with sparkling wine and fireworks

At midnight, you cling glasses of sparkling wine, wish everybody around a Frohes Neues (short for Frohes neues Jahr/Happy New Year) and watch the firework. You are allowed to start your own firework in most cities but I have never done it myself. I prefer watching from a save distance with something bubbly in my hand :-). If you want to watch the firework in Stuttgart there are several good spots you can go to do so. If you’re in the city, head to Schlossplatz. That’s where a lot of people mingle and there will be a lot of firework. If you want to see the firework from above, you can go to Monte Scherbelino/Birkenkopf, Karlshöhe, Santiago-de-Chile-Platz, Eugensplatz, Teehaus at Weißenburgpark, Höhenpark Killesberg, and Bismarckturm. But be prepared for these places to be REALLY crowded. And I personally wouldn’t go there with children.

New Years Eve in Germany firework

No Silvester without New Year’s resolutions

A fresh start into a new year makes most of us want to improve ourselves a little bit. That’s when Neujahrsvorsätze (New Year’s resolutions) come into play. They can be about anything really. Give up smoking, drink less alcohol and eat healthier are very popular resolutions for example. My New Year’s resolution is to get back into sports (I have been veeeery lazy lately :-)) Fun fact: Most of the resolutions are forgotten again on January 1. And I doubt that this is only because of the amount of alcohol consumed on NYE. ;-P

Where to go on New Year’s Eve in Stuttgart?

If you’re still wondering where you want to go to celebrate 2018 and start into 2019, check out my post about all the fun events and parties that will be going on there in Stuttgart.

Mellivinginstuttgart

Hello and welcome to "living in Stuttgart". I am Mel and I love this beautiful city. There are so many things to explore, I can't wait sharing them with you. So come along and let me show you Stuttgart the way I see it.

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