The end of another year, and the start of the usual looks backwards and forwards. What did we accomplish in 2012? What do I want to accomplish in 2013? I do know that I have another year in Germany to look forward to.
German New Year’s Eve celebrations always startle me. In America I would go out with friends to one of the public fireworks displays, which are huge and long and lovely and handled entirely by professionals. In Germany I hide inside from the mayhem that breaks out on the streets as soon as the clock hits midnight (and often before). Here most fireworks are legal, easy to obtain (on sale at Aldi!), and so New Year’s Eve celebrations feel a little bit like going to war. At midnight all the merry makers (many drunk) go outside to light their fireworks. This leads to exactly the kind of chaos you might imagine it would, and every year I find myself missing the American version, this year particularly because I was too afraid to go out into the fray with a ten-month-old baby on my arm.
As it was, I ended up sleeping through the entire party. Whoops! Having babies will do that to you. But at midnight I awoke to the sound of hundreds, probably thousands of explosions that went on and on for over an hour. How German. And while I missed the American tradition I grew up in, I reveled in the (amazingly after all these years) still exoctic traditions surrounding me.
So, to one and all Young Germany readers, happy 2013!! Did you celebrate with fireworks and champagne? Did you make any resolutions for the coming year?