What do Germans in Germany do on New Year’s Eve?

In Germany, parties are common on New Year’s Eve (Sylvester, they call it). Fireworks are very popular, both with individuals and large municipal displays. Every year Berlin hosts one of the largest New Year’s Eve celebrations in all of Europe, attended by over a million people. The focal point is the Brandenburg Gate, (similar to our Times Square, NYC, New York) where midnight fireworks are centered. Germans toast the New Year with a glass of Sekt (German sparkling wine) or champagne.

Since 1972, each New Year’s Eve, several German television stations broadcast a short comedy play in English (recorded by West German television in 1963) entitled Dinner for One. A line from the comedy sketch, “The same procedure as every year”, has become a catch phrase in Germany.

Bleigießen (pouring lead) is another German New Year’s Eve custom, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water. Other auspicious actions are to touch a chimney sweep or have him rub some ash on your forehead for good luck and health. Jam-filled doughnuts (called Berliners) with and without liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck.

Yet another German tradition is the making of Speckdicken – people go door to door visiting their neighbors and partaking in this dish. It looks similar to a pancake, but the recipe calls for either dark molasses or dark syrup, with summer sausage and bacon in the center.

Courtesy of Wikipedia