New Year’s Traditions in Germany

Dinner For One.

If you haven’t lived in Germany since 1963, then you won’t have a clue what I’m talking about, but, this is a very unique German phenomenon.

Dinner For One is a 15 minute comedy that two British actors did on stage in the early 1960’s. A German television producer filmed it for television. Since then, it has become the most broadcasted television show of all time (worldwide) though it’s NEVER been aired in either the U.S. or Britain. It is played, in Germany, every New Year’s Eve – usually every hour and on every television station. It is entirely in British English, of course, but after years, most Germans have it pretty well memorized. People here have Dinner For One theme parties serving the same alcoholic drinks and drinking them with the actors. It is pretty much unavoidable on German stations this night and it is very funny. With only two actors, the butler goes around the dinner table during the “dinner party” acting as each guest for the senile Miss Sophie, speaking as the long deceased friend would speak and drinking their toast for them with each coarse. So, he is progressively getting more and more drunk and getting very silly.

Fireworks are widely loved here with many BIG varieties available that have long been outlawed in the states, so just looking out the window over our flat farmland is a major fireworks display. You will see fireworks advertised in the Super Sontag, so get ready to shop and create your own large display.

Our first New Year’s here in Germany, we spent the holiday with some German friends in Bavaria where they brought out little aluminum or tin figures for us each to melt. Not a typo. I meant – melt. We each had a turn placing our figure on a metal spoon, then holding it over a candle until it liquefied. When it was completely melted, we poured it into a glass of cold water where it immediately hardened and cooled. Then, the tradition goes, you decide what shape it most looks like, then look it up in the little booklet provided with the figures to see what your fortune is for the year. I’ve seen similar figures sold here around New Year’s, but I’ve yet to see one with the booklet which seems pretty essential.

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