NYE in Germany: why you definitely should not miss it as an expatriate

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One of the most interesting things about being an Expat are when you experience the local culture. The festivals are a huge part of it. How the country celebrates New Years Eve is one of them.

I have grown up in France, therefore I was used to the rather quaint celebrations in France. You sit down at a table with your whole family and simply eat and drink the whole time. In one sentence... It is pretty boring.

Not so in Germany. It is amazing and the best festival of the whole year. I will explain here why...

Here is what a standard New Years Eve is for a German and then I will explain to you what you can do to have the most fun possible as an expat.

Why NYE is crazy in Germany

​Germans usually start with a big dinner with friends. As an expatriate, one is straight out for that one. You most likely will not have many friends staying around and, honestly, it is not actually very good. The restaurants hike the prices to four or five times what they usually are and all you can order is a set menu. Really not worthwhile...

They then talk and continue eating until about 11.30 or 11.45, then they go outside to welcome the New Year. And that is where it gets interesting... 

Why are there fireworks sold in the shops everywhere? 

From December onwards, when you go to  the supermarkets, you will have seen shelves with fireworks. Yes, in safety conscious Germany they sell them openly. Everyone can and will buy them. The general public is only allowed to light fireworks at NYE.

And boy, they light it well...

On the open spaces, there will be thousands of people lighting fireworks everywhere. In Munich, the main ones are Olympia Park and Theresienwiese but they also light it in every street. The new year is greeted with millions upon millions of fireworks. TIP: Be prepared to dodge fireworks as they tend to be thrown everywhere. International Friends tends to have an event on for New Year’s Eve where expatriates just meet-up, make new friends and celebrate together. Download the app in order to join the event.

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Dinner for One? What is that film?

No worries if you have not heard about this sketch yet, you are in the same boat as every expatriate. Nobody actually knows about this old sketch but Germans. However, everyone there has seen it. It runs up and down all TV channels throughout Germany. To be honest, it is marvelously funny but I have no idea why you have to watch it several times throughout the same day...

Anyway, have a look below... 

What are Wunderkerzen?

Here is another German tradition. These metal sticks that emit sparks when lighting them (just like in the photo). Mostly kids have them but they are also beautiful to look at anyway. TIP: When you move them fast, you can draw shapes in the air. 

Here is how you can experience it.

International Friends is the community for expatriates. Everyone can organise events there, you can join any events you want and you can also ask questions, sell stuff etc... And especially, you can meet other expats there. If there is no event going on yet, then make your life easier and create one!

Just download the app and join the New Year’s Eve event :) 

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Comments 3

Tim Lavagi on Monday, 24 December 2018 19:42

Hope this helps other expatriates!

Hope this helps other expatriates!
Guest - Edwin Courts on Monday, 24 December 2018 20:00

"From December onwards..." [for fireworks]?
Don't you mean from December 28 onwards?

"From December onwards..." [for fireworks]? Don't you mean from December [b]28[/b] onwards?
Tim Lavagi on Monday, 24 December 2018 20:05

I know, it should be 28th and, true, that is the date when every supermarket etc... goes crazy about them, but I have actually started seeing the first ones already in december in Rossmann near HBF. They were mostly Knallteufel though...

I know, it should be 28th and, true, that is the date when every supermarket etc... goes crazy about them, but I have actually started seeing the first ones already in december in Rossmann near HBF. They were mostly Knallteufel though...
Guest
Wednesday, 27 October 2021

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