5 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s German Style

5 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s German Style


Staying up late to ring in the new year is a world-wide tradition.

Whether you dress up for a night on the town or stay in pajamas, we’ve gathered five of the most fun ways you can add German traditions of Sylvester to bring in 2019.

  1. Read Your Future

Many Germans participate in Bleigießen (pron. BLYE-ghee-sen) as and attempt to read their fortunes using lead and cold water.

Once the lead is safely melted, it’s poured into cold water. The lead will form into a shape which will be interpreted for the new year. For example, if the lead takes the shape of a heart, it means love; a ship, travel and a pig, abundance.

If lead isn’t your ideal way to see your future, try Gummy Bears.

Traditionally, the future seeker will reach into a bag of gummies and select five bears at random. Each color means something for the future. For example, a red bear means love and a yellow means wealth.

  1. Fondue and Wine

Spending time Germany means most of us have already learned how much locals enjoy lingering over delicious food and drink. Pairing the two for a New Year’s celebration means eating and drinking specific foods for a happy and healthy new year.

Fondue, champagne (sekt), Berliner (jelly filled donut) and even some punch (bowle) are some traditional table fares included in a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Be sure to leave some of your dinner, which often includes lentils, carp or cabbage and carrots, until after the stroke of midnight as a sign of ensuring prosperity and abundance as the next year starts.

  1. Good Luck Charms

Share you wishes of good fortune and health by sharing a meaningful trinket.

German custom indicates sharing lucky charms such as chocolate horseshoes (luck) or mini chimney sweeps for a clean start to a new year. If you can’t find a mini sweep, brush some fireplace ashes across your forehead and get the same meaning.

Share good tidings with friends, neighbors and even people on the street with Ein gutes und gesegnetes neues Jahr! (“a good and blessed New Year”) or simply Prosit Neujahr! (“Happy New Year!”). If you won’t see family and friends that evening, it’s common for Germans to send New Year’s cards as well.

Don’t forget to put a fish scale in your purse. Not the kind of scale to weigh the fish, but literally a scale from the fish commonly served at New Year’s Eve dinner. The scale is the traditionally kept as symbol to be prosperous in the new year.

  1. Fireworks

Loud and bright fireworks help welcome the new year in cities across the world. According to German tradition, the festive light show also steers bad spirits away.

Adults and children share the love of this symbolic tradition by buying these party favorites legally for three days prior to the holiday.

From nearly every town, village and even field, a light show like no other lights up the sky as the clock chimes twelve.

  1. Find a Local Party

Time is running out for grand plans this New Year’s Eve, but a few locations are still offering tickets.

The Wiesbaden Entertainment Center is offering a night of fun, food and entertainment for all ages.

Beginning at 8 pm, party goers can enjoy cosmic bowling, music and even a glass of sparkling wine – those of age in Lounge. Younger guests are offered a glass of traditional punch.

Tickets go on sale at the WEC December 11, 2018.

Those looking to join the locals in celebration may explore the Kurhaus with packages starting at €72.60 per person. The Kids Club is also featuring tickets for younger guests starting at €56.10 each child.

Ring in the new year with dinner and dancing at The Living Room. Arrive early for a multi-course dinner (starting at €38.90) or just come for the party €25 per person.

Check local listings and social media postings for additional restaurants and clubs are featuring New Year’s specials.

No matter where you celebrate, or which traditions play a part in your evening, remember to enjoy a safe and healthy holiday. Don’t drink and drive and don’t light fireworks on base.

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