New Year's Eve

These New Year’s Eve recipes, prophecies, and celebrations are a total blast.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is celebrated differently the world over. While New York City is counting down in Time Square and watching the ball drop, the people of Germany are filling the streets and setting off fireworks to the sound of the local church bells. This takes place at midnight in every village, town, and big city throughout the country. The clanging bells and booming rockets are a great way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new. Not to mention, the lights and noises are very effective in chasing away all the bad spirits!


New Year’s Eve in Germany is called Silvester and is always accompanied with good food and drink throughout the long night. (See recipes below.) While some are partying in the streets, others might be celebrating quietly at home—playing games and watching “Dinner for One” on TV. This English sketch comedy show has become a New Year’s tradition since the early seventies. Have a look.


For many years, I’ve missed the thrill and excitement of watching fireworks in late December. One year, a few days after Christmas and before New Year’s Eve, I heard a surprising “BOOM!” in my backyard. When I opened the door to the deck, I saw a firework display in our garden. Sparkles of light shot in all directions and the stars from the rockets shined over our house.I was confused and delighted—all at the same time. It was my teenage son, with the help of a kind neighbor, who set up the choreographed light show for my birthday. What great memory! It made up for all the years that I missed the fireworks on New Year’s Eve. And to this day, I still consider it the most beautiful fireworks display I have ever seen.

Einen Guten Rutsch und Prosit Neujahr.

Happy New Year and best wishes to all. _Oma

Let’s eat!

Scroll down to find the recipes

Whether you’re throwing a big party or attending a small gathering, the right dish for the occasion can make all the difference. This New Year’s Eve try one of these great recipes: Shrimp Dip, Marinated Herring, Midnight Soup, Gentlemen’s Layer Cake, and Jam-Filled Sweet Rolls. Click and enjoy!

Click the links for recipes

Shrimp Dip

Shrimp Dip for New Years Eve

Marinated Herring

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Midnight Soup

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Jam-Filled Sweet Rolls

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Gentlemen’s Layer Cake



Lentil Soup


Let’s drink! It’s New Year’s Eve!

Fire Tongs Punch (Krambambula) – Feuerzangenbowle (Krambambuli)

Traditional New Years Eve punch

No New Year’s Eve celebration is complete without Fire Tongs Punch. The popularity of this warm, sweet wine punch skyrocketed after the release of its namesake, the 1944 German film Die Feuerzangenbowle. Both are cult classics and a must have on New Year’s Eve. 

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Apple Punch

Apple Punch for New Years Eve


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Master of Hunters – Jägermeister

Jägermeister used to be a job title: Master of Hunters. Today, it is better known as an herbal liqueur. Jägermeister was regarded more as a drink for older people—which was used to help digest after a heavy meal. Around 2004, the green bottle was rediscovered by younger adults and became hip in certain circles. It is best served ice cold—which means it needs to be chilled right around the freezing point. Look for the head of a buck on the label (that’s how you know you have a real bottle) and present your Jaegermeister to your New Year’s guests in tubes on a special rack. C’mon, how hip is that? Cheers!

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Feeling lucky?

Click the links to find out more

This new year, good fortune is sure to pour your way. Discover “Bleigiessen,” a fun German tradition of pouring melted lead into cold water to predict the future. Oh, and do have a Gluecksbringer? Not sure? Well, you’re in luck. There are plenty here. You’ll be charmed, I’m sure. _Oma

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Celebrate New Years Eve

(Picture taken by Thomas Dornfeld)

Einen Guten Rutsch und Prosit Neujahr. _Oma





New Year's Luck Traditions

This new year, watch luck come pouring in all shapes, sizes, and meanings.

New Year’s Luck Traditions

The last Day of the year in Germany is celebrated with New Year’s Luck Traditions. When the clock strikes midnight, it’s a brand new year. Fireworks color the sky and people fill the streets. Yes, New Year’s in Germany is quite a celebration. After the echoes of the church bells have subsided, people return home for “Bleigiessen.” (AKA: Lead pouring for prophecy and prediction.) Over a burning candle, a small amount of lead is melted in a spoon. When the metal liquifies, it is poured into a bowl of cold water and immediately a shape is formed.

How these shapes are interpreted will determine the future, so the story goes. Go ahead, hold it up to the light with a fork or tweezers. What does its shadow reveal? An island means a dream will come true. A heart stands for happiness, health, and peace. A nest? That represents luck within the family. Curious to know all various shapes and meanings? Good luck to you. Click here.

(If you have concerns using the lead, you always could substitute it with solder or candle wax. Works as good!)


German good luck charms – Glücksbringer

Melting lead doesn’t reveal the entire future. And who couldn’t use a little extra luck on their side? That’s where the Gluecksbringer comes in. These good luck charms are popular in Germany—and some are recognized the world over.

Four-Leaf Clover:

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Legend has it, Eve took a four-leaf clover out of the Garden of Eden. If you ever find one, congrats! You just got a little piece of paradise.

Lady Bugs:


These little messengers from heaven are said to protect children and the sick. Catch one if you can!



A symbol of prosperity and health. Always hang your horseshoe, so that it hangs like a “U” so that luck can fall in. If you hang it upside down, you’re good fortune will fall out.



Who knew this farm animal was a symbol of fertility and strength? The Germans did! They even have the expression, “You had a pig,” which means, “That’s a stroke of luck.”



We’re all familiar with the lucky penny. If you find one, it’s supposed to bring good luck. This symbol of wealth also comes with a German expression, “If you don’t respect the penny, then you’re not worth the thaler.” (A thaler is a silver coin used throughout Europe for almost 400 years.)

Chimney Sweeper:


Seeing or coming in contact with a chimney sweeper is considered good luck. Back in the day, without electricity or gas, the men in the top hats were responsible for helping to keep those old fashioned ovens running so that meals could be prepared.


Wotan / Odin

 You have 364 days to wash your clothes. (Just don’t do it on New Year’s Eve!)

As the story goes, Wotan (or Odin) a major deity in Germanic and Nordic mythology, rides with his cohorts on the night of New Year’s Eve and nothing upsets the gods like getting caught up in your hanging laundry. So clear those clothing lines and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be blessed with good fortune for the rest of the year.

You might like the one or the other of the German New Year’s luck Traditions. Add the right food to the table and find here traditional recipes for your party on New Year’s Eve.