New Year's Eve Traditions in Germany - Saint Silvester

Posted on December 31, 2014 | 0 Comments

In Germany - New Year's Eve is called Silvester (Sylvester). December 31st is the Saint's day of Pope Silvester, who died on 31 December 335.

Fireworks are all about the pure joy of the display - they are a must, and are seated in a pre-medieval belief that noise will ward off evil spirits. The churches chime in ringing their bells around midnight. 

Customs vary across Germany, but as reported by Germany Insider Facts, New Year's Eve traditions often include old superstitions, which have been passed on for centuries. 

Some quaint do's and don'ts for New Years Eve include:

"Don't have washing on the clothesline! This is an ancient superstition. It should prevent that Odin (Wotan), the chief god in North Germanic tradition, gets caught in the clotheslines when he wanders around at night. My mum used to say "when you have washing on the line, someone in the family passes away". You can be sure I follow that rule!

For a wealthy New Year eat Sauerkraut, or Lentil soup and you won't run out of money in the new year. The lentils represent pennies, but I don't know why Sauerkraut. However, eating the latter is a must in Hessen. Another traditional meal is carp, and you carry a scale of the carp in your purse.

Bleigießen, literally translated lead-pouring, is another old custom. You melt small pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle, pour the liquid lead into a bowl with cold water. The resulting shapes are fairly bizarre. Use your imagination to determine what the figures look like. A fun way of fortune-telling."

Whatever your traditions, My Growing Traditions wishes you the Happiest of New Years!

Posted in German Traditions



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