USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs news release
New Year’s Eve in Germany is a time to celebrate the start of a new year with fireworks, music, and family. Whether you want to party into the early hours of the morning or have a relaxed New Year’s with your family, events in Bavaria have everything needed to ring in the New Year just like the Germans do.
In Germany, New Year’s Eve is called Silvester. During the day, the movie “Dinner for One” will be broadcasted as it has every year since 1963. The 18-minute black-and-white comedy follows the life of Miss Sophie as she celebrates her 90th birthday. Due to her age, however, she has outlived all of her friends and tries to recreate her birthday dinner each year with her only remaining companion – her manservant James.
Also, people may participate in a tradition known as “Bleigiessen,” where lead is poured onto a spoon above a candle and then tipped into a bowl filled with cold water. The lead solidifies and transforms into a random shape. Explanations of the various potential shapes come with the package and provide predictions of what’s ahead and coming in the New Year. The utensils for Bleigiessen all come in one package and can be purchased from most local department stores and supermarkets.
Another German New Year’s tradition that might be unknown to Americans is “Feuerzangenbowle,” a favorite also seen at Christmas markets. Feuerzangenbowle is a hot drink in which a rum-soaked sugar-loaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine. The name translates to “fire-tong’s-punch.”
A notes on fireworks:
Fireworks and all similar flare products are strictly prohibited on all U.S. installations and DOD-controlled areas, according to DOD regulation.
In Germany, however, fireworks are available for personal use once per year to ring in the New Year. They are only sold Dec. 29 – 31 and can only be used Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Users must be 18 years or older to purchase and use fireworks. Also, German law forbids the purchase and use of homemade fireworks or fireworks from Poland and Czech Republic.
For more on fireworks and safety, see the Fall Safety packet or call DSN 526-2306, CIV 09641-70-526-2306.
As the Germans say: “Prosit Neujahr,” or cheers to the New Year!