The 6th of January marks the day on which the three wise men visited Jesus. According to Christian belief, the three wise men followed a bright star (the star of Bethlehem) to visit baby Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Some Germans attend a special church service to mark the occasion and churches with a display of the crib add the three wise men to their displays on this day. The day is more commonly known to mark the end of the 12-day Christmas period (starting on the 25th of December) and most Germans will take down their Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations on the 6th of January.
We hope you had a fantastic Rutsch ins neue Jahr 2016! 🙂
May 2016 bring you success, laughter and good health.
As first Oktoberfest for Teens blog of the year we thought we would share our favourite three German Silvester traditions with you.
1. Feuerwerke (Fireworks)
Of course we have wonderful firework displays in Australia for New Year’s Eve, but did you know that you can light your own firecrackers in Germany? Yup. You can go into Aldi and buy yourself as many fireworks as you like and light them in your backyard, on the street, off your balcony, on the roof, or any other place you can think of! Whilst we enjoy watching the displays, lighting your own fireworks is definitely a highlight of spending Silvester in Germany!
2. Dinner for One (or Der 90. Geburtstag)
In 1963 an 18-minute long sketch of Miss Sophie’s (May Warden) 90th birthday was filmed for the first time. Miss Sophie has outlived her four best friends and so her butler James (Freddie Frinton) must act out the roles these. Since this show first appeared on television screens it has become a must-have on Silvester for all Germans. Why is it so popular? Well, no one quite knows – but everyone does know it’s not quite Silvester without watching “Dinner for One”!
You can watch it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xncnyt_dinner-for-one-hdtv-720p-der-90-geburtstag_fun
3. Bleigieβen (“lead pouring”)
Bleigieβen is a fun tradition involving a spoon, a candle, lead figures and a bowl of water. The kits can be purchased in any supermarket in Germany leading up to Silvester. You simply light a candle, pick a lead figure out of the packet, place it on the spoon and then place the spoon over the candle. Then you wait for the lead figure to melt and quickly throw the lead into the water bowl (without the spoon). The lead instantly solidifies and leaves you with some kind of shape – this shape is said to predict the new year (the explanation of shapes is included in the package). We do admit – it sometimes takes quite a bit of imagination to figure out what the shape could be (see below), but nevertheless, it’s a lot of fun!