Tag Archives: Silvester

3 Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve German Style – It’s ‘Silvester’!

Three Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve German Style 


What 4th of July is for the American that’s New Year’s Eve or ‘Silvester’ for the German – at least, measured by the number of fireworks that go into the air that night. And that means fireworks galore! Every family is sure to sport some kind of firework and many have fireworks that would be called illegal in California, like skyrockets. (illegal fireworks in California include all that “…go into the air, or move on the ground in an uncontrollable manner”) In Germany, they are allowed. Unfortunately every year the press reports incidents of severe accidents because of them. 

2 – BLEIGIESSEN / Lead Pouring

This is a most favorite custom that lets the Germans play fortune teller on New Year’s Eve. Originally, small chunks of lead are melted in a spoon over the flame of a candle. As soon as the lead is liquid you pour the molten lead into a bowl of cold water where the lead will take on various shapes. These ’frozen” shapes will be interpreted to tell a person’s fate for the upcoming new year. As you can imagine this makes for a great topic of conversation.  One can buy lead pouring kits for this particular custom but many families use also wax instead of lead since it is safer.


Now, this is a very special tradition for Germans. A tradition that literally doesn’t sound German at all! But it’s one, that is not to be missed and in fact, it is all over the TV channels all night long. We are talking about “Dinner for One” which is actually a comedy sketch in English! Yet, Germans can’t get enough of this 18-minute sketch and love watching it during every new year’s eve celebration. We have it posted for you right below:

“Same procedure as every year!”

We wish everyone a Happy New Year! –

Wir wünschen einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!


Happy New Year – Frohes Neues Jahr!

We wish you an exciting New Year’s Eve and a functioning TV so you can watch the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on time, in case you are not actually over there… 🙂 Here is a link for a live streaming of the annual New York City celebration!

But first enjoy a German classic – Loriot und der kaputte Fernseher!


Happy New Year with a ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ – German Party Punch with Sugar Hat

Heinz Rühmann and the Feuerzangenbowle – do you remember this classic?

Die Feuerzangenbowle

Die Feuerzangenbowle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For New Year’s Eve or “Silvester” as we call it in Germany almost every family has a unique culinary tradition to ring in the new year.  For many it is serving a zesty Gulasch at the Silvester Party while counting the hours to midnight, for others it is inviting family and friends to a delicious and fun Raclette evening or Fondue. One of these many traditions is the “Feuerzangenbowle”.

Perhaps this delicious party punch finds its way to become also one of your traditions in the years to come. For the preparation just follow the recipe below that our guest author Gabriele Utz is sharing with us, … and for everyone who hasn’t seen or wants to see Heinz Rühmann in his famous role again, enjoy the whole movie “Die Feuerzangenbowle” below at the end of the post.


Feuerzangenbowle – German Party Punch with Sugar Hat (by Gabriele Utz, MyBestGermanRecipes.com)

Feuerzangenbowle is a special German party attraction especially for New Years Eve or in the winter time before Christmas (Adventszeit). You can find the hot spiced wine on German Christmas markets. The biggest Feuerzangenbowle was served in 2005 in Munich. 9.000 liter punch had been mixed and heated in a huge copper kettle with a diameter of 2.5 meter and served to the visitors of the market. Near the Nuernberg Christmas Market you can find a similar kettle. The hot party drink became popular in the German movie “Die Feuerzangenbowle” with Heinz Ruehmann from 1944.

To make the hot beverage you need to have a special Feuerzangenbowle set – Find it here: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?gdcom+cbJvSj+feuerzangeset.html

Ingredients for ‘Feuerzangenbowle’ – serves 8

3 bottles red wine
1 small sugar hat – Find it here: http://store.yahoo.com/cgi-bin/clink?gdcom+cbJvSj+norzuc.html
1 piece orange peel
1 bottle golden rum
1 piece lemon peel
at least 108 proof
5 cloves
Directions Feuerzangenbowle
  1. Put orange peel, lemon peel and cloves into a tea filter bag, tie shut with white yarn. Hang into a copper kettle, pour in wine.
  2. Heat up close to boiling point, but make sure it never gets to boil. Put the kettle in the middle of your table so all your guests can watch the ceremony.
  3. You normally use a “Feuerzange”, but as I suspect this might be hard to get, you can also use a grid from your barbecue set – especially the ones you normally use to barbecue herrings in should work pretty well. The point is that you should be able to put the sugar hat on it (lying on its side) and place the whole thing safely over the kettle.
  4. Once you’ve got that far, you’re ready for the ceremony.First, dim your lights. Then pour some rum onto the sugar hat, best using a ladle, and light it (this is why the rum has to be at least 108 proof). Keep the flames burning by ladling more rum on the sugar hat, until the sugar has completely melted and dripped into the wine.
  5. Remove the “Feuerzange” and the bag with the spices. Serve in heat-proof glasses.
  6. Variation: Many people like to add sugar and/or a little orange juice (preferably freshly pressed).
Article Source: MyBestGermanRecipes
Photo credit: Wikipedia

—————————————————————————————————————–        ABOUT

MyBestGermanRecipes.comMyBestGermanRecipes is the creation of Gabriele Utz. Interested in cooking and baking ever since she can think of she now has turned her passion into reality, and has started an online cookbook with authentic German recipes in 2010. The website offers more than 300 original German recipes.

Website | Twitter | Facebook