I can’t believe Christmas is over already. It took so much time and preparation to get everything right and now it’s over already. Dare I to say it is only 363 days until Christmas. Ha. I am actually working between Christmas and New Years this year but I am off from Friday again. Thank god. It is such a hard time when you are off for Christmas and you then have to come in for a few days. I am definitely planning days off better for next year. In fact I have them already planned out.
New Year’s Eve is another exciting day for us, for me anyway. It wouldn’t be as exciting as it would if I’d celebrate it in Germany but I am trying to make the most out of it in Ireland, too. I want to share with you the German traditions of New Year’s Eve, or as we call it “Silvester”.
Not sure if this exists in Ireland. I haven’t made the effort and do research on it. But in a nutshell it’s basically a scratchcard. You can have an instant win on it by scratching it off or get the proper card and wait for the numbers to revealed generally at the beginning of the new year. Essentially it’s like playing the lotto.
As if Christmas dinner wasn’t enough. New Year’s Eve continues with more food. I actually can’t remember what kind of main dinner we used to have but for us now it’s party food which includes sausage rolls, spring rolls etc. The dessert is the most traditional one which is a big fat pancake which looks like a donut filled with jam inside. I normally pick these up in Lidl but I actually haven’t seen them this year yet apart from in the bakery section.
Table Fireworks/ Crackers/ Streamer
I loved and hated these as a child at the same time. There was the crackers that looked like peas. You throw them on the ground (outside of course) and let them pop. LOVED IT. Would so love to have them here. I really don’t understand why Ireland can’t allow fireworks legally for two days. In Germany you are able to buy fireworks from 29th December until 31st December. Don’t see anything wrong with that. Then there are the table fireworks. Lidl had them last year so of course I stocked up on them for this year in case they don’t have them anymore.
I haven’t tried this one myself before but it is a very popular one. A candle is lit, and small chunks of lead are melted in a spoon held over the candle. Because of the low melting temperature of lead, this process does not take long. The molten lead is then quickly poured from the spoon into a bucket of cold water, where it hardens almost immediately. Each person tries to determine what he or she “sees” in the hardened lead figure, much like children see sheep, etc. in fluffy clouds. Often the lead figure is held up to a candle or other light, and the shape of the shadow it casts aids in this important decision. The shape of the cooled lead (or wax) determines the future of that person for the year to come.
“Prosit Neujahr”, “Guten Rutsch”
Before we moved house I had my own satellite dish to receive German TV. We haven’t had the chance to set this up in the new house yet. Hopefully we will get to that in the New Year. We celebrate New Year’s twice in our house as you probably might know Germany is one hour ahead of Ireland/UK. We generally watch one of the German shows that are aired in Berlin in front of the Brandenburger Gate. They are doing the countdown from 10 and we clink glasses to the new year with a bit of Prosecco. “Guten Rutsch” basically means “Happy New Year” and “Prosit Neujahr” means “Cheers to the New Year”
It’s not New Year’s Eve without the fireworks. I do kind of dread this time now that I have kids though. My oldest is afraid of them so when there was fireworks going on at Halloween, we just told him it was popping up balloons and he was okay with that. As mentioned above, we would go to the shops and buy a set of fireworks from 29th December. This is where all the neighbours come out then and wish “Happy New Year”.
New Year’s Walk
What better way to welcome the New Year other than taking a walk. I hope the weather is going to be nice because I am planning on exploring the nature trail nearby with the family on 1st January.
Do you have any New Years Eve traditions?