NEW YEAR’S EVE IN GERMANY: 3 TRADITIONS FOR YOUR PARTY!
Vancouver, B.C. December 29, 2017
With Christmas nearly around the corner, New Year's Eve isn’t far away, either. ‘Silvester’ — as we Germans call New Year's Eve — is named in honour of Pope Silvester. This day of the year comes with a lot of quirky German New Year traditions. We put together a collection of 3 different traditions that could spice up your next New Year's Eve party.
1. Raclette, Berliner Pfannkuchen (Doughnuts) & Feuerzangbowle
No German New Year’s dinner would be complete without a fondue or raclette! Cheese is considered a harbinger of good luck and prosperity. Then, for dessert, a long-standing Silvester tradition — the Berliner Pfannkuchen.
This New Year's Eve pastry consists of sweet yeast dough which is usually filled with jam and fried in boiling fat. The classic varieties are filled with strawberry or plum jam. Donuts with apricot jam, vanilla pudding and Baileys are also available today. On top, the pastry is decorated with powdered sugar, icing or a glaze. However, it is hardly recognizable from the outside which filling is hidden in the Berlin doughnut. Some are even filled with spicy mustard to celebrate the day! The meal is rounded off with a traditional “Happy New Year” toast with Feuerzangenbowle, a traditional hot drink made with red wine, rum, orange peel, cinnamon and cloves.
2. Bleigießen aka Molybdomacy
As we don’t want the upcoming year to hold unpleasant surprises, we predict the future by melting a teaspoon of lead over a candle and then pouring it into a bowl of cold water. We then predict the future by interpreting the shape the lead takes. There is a book for the interpretation of the shapes sold along with Bleigießen kits, and trust me, you don't want one that looks like a whale (= needing to lose weight).
3. Watch ‘Dinner For One’
“The same procedure as last year? The same procedure as every year James!” These are most famous sentences on New Year’s Eve and the most heard over the television that night. Every New Year’s Eve, German television broadcasts a British comedy sketch called Dinner for One. The play is about an elderly dame and her drunken butler, with its humour hanging on the repetition of the phrase "same procedure as last year," and culminates with a double-entendre punchline. Fun fact: It has been shown every year since 1963, which makes it the most frequently repeated television show ever — although it is virtually unknown in Britain itself.
In this spirit, Happy New Year, or as we would say ‘FROHES NEUES!’