A Very German New Year’s

This New Year’s, thanks to the hospitality of German friends both old and new, I was able to celebrate New Year’s Eve German style.  We ate an incredible amount of delicious food before the obligatory watching of Dinner for One.

Then we divined our future in the time honoured tradition of Bleigießen (lead pouring). Bleigießen involves melting lead (or these days tin) in an old spoon over a candle. Once melted it is then poured into a bowl of cold water and your future is foretold by the shape the lead sets in.  We weren’t quite as organised to remember to get some lead beforehand, so we used wax from small tealight candles. My weird wax formations resembled some of the rock formations at Monument Valley and the Starship Enterprise coming out of a nebula. I have no idea what this means for the year ahead.

At 11:45pm, we suddenly remembered it was New Year’s and ran down to the banks of the Alster to ring in the New Year and watch what the Germans do best on New Year’s, letting off fireworks.  I love the chaos that is New Year’s in Germany.  Everyone stands on the street letting off hundreds of fireworks until the air is so smoky you can barely see anything in front of you.  It is so chaotic and unorganised which makes a wonderful change for the normal Ordnung of German life.

At 3am, I made my way home and narrowly avoided injury when some stupid idiot decided to throw a lighted firecracker into our train carriage. Walking home I was pleased to note that some of my elderly neighbours were also coming home from their own New Year’s Eve parties.  When I’m in my mid-70s, I want to be as hardcore as them and still out partying at 3am.

It was such a wonderful way to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012.  I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for me and how my weird wax formations made on New Year’s Eve will fit into it.  A trip to Utah for a Star Trek convention anyone?

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About Meg

A thirty something queer Aussie geek girl who now lives in Germany.
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5 Responses to A Very German New Year’s

  1. Anne says:

    What a great New Year’s Eve! I’d never heard of the Bleigießen – thanks for sharing. It will be interesting to see at the end of 2012 what those shapes could have meant :)

    Hope that 2012 is filled with many good things for you!

  2. Someone threw a firecracker into a train car??!?! What the fuck? That is what I really don’t like about German New Years…feels too much like a war zone to me. I always run off to the country to hide from all the explosions until it’s passed and just the trail of red paper firecracker wrappers remains.

  3. Mandi says:

    Sounds like a great start to 2012! Despite many New Year’s Eves in Germany, I’ve yet to pour lead — I will have to remember that for next year!

  4. hi there : )
    we are always doing bleigießen too, but we aren’t guessing about our future depending on the new lead form, but depending on the shadow it casts – everyone does it a bit different I guess ^^. And Im surprised that youre suprised over the people starting fireworks at midnight everywhere because when you watch new year around the world on tv, there are everywhere fireworks o.o – or is it just one big organized firework and the people dont start fireworks themself?
    ah, and besides “Dinner for one” we often watch the episode “Silvesterpunch” of the old german series “Ein Herz und eine Seele” – soooooooo funny. if you dont already know it, youtubelink: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Ssj2ho5_o

    • Riayn says:

      I’ve never heard of guessing your future on the shadow it casts. Maybe we might try that next time and see if we get better predictions.
      In Australia, it is illegal to let off fireworks in most states so we are restricted to the organised ones, which whilst very beautiful, aren’t as much fun as being able to let off your own.

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