If there is one thing about celebrating the new year in Germany that stands out for me, it would have to be the fireworks. A few days before the 31st, the stores put fireworks on sale. People buy them up like crazy. Then, starting at six in the evening on New Year’s Eve, the night sky lights up in a smoky haze, culminating at midnight with an almost unbelievable amount of fireworks lighting up the night sky in every direction you turn. Just imagine everyone on your street simultaneously setting off fireworks on the sidewalk in front of their house, and you will have an idea of what ringing in a German new year is like.
Another fun tradition in Germany is called Bleigießen. This is a fortune-telling tradition. Basically, you take a small lead figure and melt it in a spoon over a candle. When it becomes liquid, you pour it quickly into a bowl of cold water. Then, you look at the shape it has formed and that determines your fortune in the new year. Unfortunately, my figure ended up as an unidentifiable object…so 2011 still holds many secrets for me.
Here are a few pictures of my own little fireworks show!