New Year in Germany
Like any other part of the world, in Germany also, New Year is celebrated with much pomp and glory. The merry-making and enjoyment starts from the very eve of New Year (the day before the New Years Day), which is called Silvester in Germany. It is so called because 31st December is also the feast day of Saint Sylvester, who was a pope of the fourth century. People organize parties on the day, to get together with their loved ones and spend the entire day dancing, singing, drinking and having a gala time. This is, in fact, regarded as a traditional event in Germany.
New Year Celebrations In Germany:
As soon as the clock strikes twelve, everybody starts greeting and hugging each other. They wish their near and dear ones a year full of happiness and prosperity. Bottles of champagnes and wines are opened, crackers are burst and everywhere, there is an environment of festivity and celebration. Indeed, visiting Germany during this time of the year is a very pleasurable experience. Along with the many celebrations, people here do not forget their own heritage as well and maintain a close link with their inherent customs and traditions.
One very popular practice indulged-in by the Germans, during this time, is dropping molten lead in cold water and forecasting the future, depending on the shape it takes in the water. For instance, if it takes the form of a heart, it means that there will be a wedding, a trip and plenty of food in the near future. This popular custom is called Bleigiessen and is observed with much excitement by almost all the Germans. Also, many Germans leave a portion of every food eaten during the New Year Eve, as a way of ensuring that they have a well-stocked larder in the coming year. Apart from this, they play a number of other games and competitions as well.
At home, Germans enjoy the New Year by watching special programs and television shows. Mouthwatering dishes are also prepared on the day, which includes the preparation of the carp (a kind of fish) or herring, a toast made with champagne, dishes made of cabbages and carrots, etc. The incorporation of carrots and cabbages in the festive preparations is a part of the tradition, as it is meant to bring in financial stability in the coming year. Thus, amidst fun and gaiety, Germans observe the festive occasion of New Year.