an American in Germany: a blog about culture, language, society
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Happy New Year! Frohes Neues Jahr! We tried to pack a lot of silly German traditions into our night...after a nice New Year's Eve dinner, and some Knallbonbons (crackers, note the little chimney sweeps on them) we did tried our hand at Bleigießen, or "melting lead" to read our fortunes. We watched the fireworks in the neighborhood, lit sparklers (Wunderkerzen) and ate Pfannkuchen. Hopefully 2012 will be a lucky one!
Bleigießen was interesting. You have these thin pieces of lead shaped like Sekt or a heart or a clock, put them on the metal spoon and melt them over a candle. You pour the melted lead into cold water and pull out the cooled lead. The results are a bit like a Rorschach test...see if you can read our fortunes from the below results:
At midnight, we just hit the Berlin streets. We were hoping to go to Tempelhof park, but it was closed. From the edge, we could still get a view of the fireworks going off all across the horizon. Germans don't have Fourth of July (obviously...) so this is their chance to play with fire. And it seems like people are more into setting off their own rather than going to watch one public firework display. Everywhere we could see, fireworks were going off. Between the blocks of houses, in the streets, from people's balconies...it was loud, smoky, and colorful. Happy New Year!