The Sentinel

New Years in Germany

Nyagoa Thok

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We’re all excited for the New Year to come. Many people have different traditions when it comes to celebrating New Year. We gather around the table, share meals, and make some good memories as the New Year progresses.

In Germany, many people spend the morning and afternoon preparing for the New Year’s Eve celebrations in the evening. Some people attend a church service that culminates at midnight. Many people drink and toast with champagne or other sparkling wine. People may give each other gift like a four leafed clover as a symbol of good luck for the New Year.

In some areas, citizens take part in fortune telling known as Bleigiessen. They melt small pieces of lead on a silver spoon above a candle. When the lead solidifies, the shape the lead takes on is a symbol for the fortunes of the coming year. Fortune cookies are another popular alternative.

Poultry, according to some traditions in Germany, cannot be eaten on New Year’s. They believe a bird can make your luck “fly” away, however some look forward to the annual goose. Other traditional meals include fish such as carp or pickled herring. Some say if you keep a piece of carp in your wallet you won’t run out of money for the whole year.

Once midnight comes, the fireworks are lighting up the skies, and many bring out jelly donuts. These donuts are called Berliner outside of Berlin, but in Berlin their called Pfannkuchen (Pancakes). The donuts are given as a joke, some may fool you and put mustard in place of the jam, which some say is bad luck! Hugs and kisses are also exchanged along the resolutions, many talk about changes in the New Year like “I started a healthy life” for example.

All in all, New Years is meant to be fun and to be celebrated with the ones you love. Everyone has their own way of celebrating New Year’s; you should enjoy yours as well. Frohes Neues Jahr! Happy New Years from the sentinel.

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New Years in Germany