Travel tales – Culture shock – Inspiration

New Year traditions in Germany

The advent of the New Year is celebrated all around the world. Germany has a wide range of unique New Year traditions, that differentiate Germans from other nations.

Activities in Germany with family and friends on New Year’s Eve are particularly popular.

They include family dinner with special dishes such as fondue, where pieces of meat are cooked in oil directly on the table and eaten with sauces and side dishes. 

Raclette, which comes from Switzerland, is even more popular, with various ingredients individually baked in small pans with cheese. This type of dinner is perfect for New Year’s Eve, because you can eat and chat for hours while waiting for midnight together.

More traditional German New Year’s Eve traditions mostly rooted to people’s wish to have good luck and success in the new year and to leave everything bad behind.

Even today in Germany, there are particularly presented various symbols of happiness which are symbolising the advent of the New Year. Nowadays, among other things, the most popular ones are small toys, for example, made from marzipan, chimney sweeps or four-leaf clovers, which are gifted on New Year’s Eve. 

The New Year’s celebrations are almost extinct, with different characteristics depending on the region. In the north, children go from door to door with a so-called fairground to be rewarded for the rhymes mentioned. In central and southern Germany, a song was played to the surrounding residents at the beginning of the year, which should also be rewarded with sweets or money.

Such traditions and the good resolutions for the new year promise that 2020 will be an excellent year – at least we wish you that. Happy New Year!