The Most Popular German New Year's Tradition: A Ranking

Choose the tradition you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 07:10
Willkommen to StrawPoll's definitive ranking of the most popular German New Year's traditions! As the clock strikes midnight and the fireworks paint the sky, we know that Germans across the country are celebrating with their unique customs and festivities. But which tradition truly reigns supreme? That's where you come in! From the thrilling anticipation of Bleigießen to the heartwarming charm of Dinner for One, we've compiled the ultimate list of beloved German New Year's rituals. Now it's up to you to cast your vote and help us crown the favorite! Can't find your cherished tradition on the list? Keine Sorge! You can also suggest a missing option, and together we'll create the most comprehensive ranking of German New Year's celebrations. So, grab your Glühwein and join us as we bid farewell to the old year and welcome the new with the best of German traditions. Prost!

What Is the Most Popular German New Year's Tradition?

  1. 1
    Fireworks are a popular tradition on New Year's Eve in Germany. People light fireworks to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, creating a colorful spectacle in the skies.
    Fireworks is a traditional and immensely popular New Year's tradition in Germany. It involves the colorful and explosive displays of pyrotechnics in the night sky, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy.
    • Colors: Fireworks come in a wide array of vibrant colors, including red, green, blue, yellow, purple, and more. The colors are produced by specific chemical compounds used in the firework compositions.
    • Explosive Effects: Fireworks produce a variety of explosive effects, including bursts, crackling stars, whistles, spinning spirals, comets, palm trees, crossettes, and more. These effects are achieved through carefully designed shell configurations and the combination of different pyrotechnic compounds.
    • Sizes: Fireworks are available in various sizes, ranging from small handheld devices to large aerial shells. The sizes depend on the intended display and the safety regulations in place.
    • Firing Mechanisms: Fireworks can be ignited through different mechanisms, including fuses, electronic ignitors, or remote control systems. The chosen firing mechanism affects the timing and synchronization of the fireworks display.
    • Safety Precautions: Fireworks should always be handled with caution and in compliance with safety guidelines. Safety precautions include proper storage, handling, and ensuring a safe distance from spectators or flammable objects.
  2. 2
    Silvesterpfad is a street party held in major cities like Vienna, Salzburg, and Graz on New Year's Eve. People can enjoy live music, food, and drinks, and watch fireworks together.
    The Silvesterpfad is a popular German New Year's tradition that involves a series of events and celebrations organized throughout the city of Vienna, Austria. It was first introduced in 1992 as a way to bring people together and create a festive atmosphere during the transition to the new year.
    • Location: Vienna, Austria
    • Year of Introduction: 1992
    • Purpose: To celebrate New Year's Eve and bring people together
    • Duration: Several hours, starting in the afternoon and lasting until past midnight
    • Events: Concerts, cultural performances, street parties, fireworks
  3. 3
    Bleigießen is a fortune-telling game played in Germany on New Year's Eve. People melt lead and pour it into cold water, and then interpret the shapes that form as a prediction of the coming year.
    Bleigießen is a popular German New Year's tradition where small metal figures are melted and then the resulting shapes are interpreted to predict the future.
    • Materials: Lead or tin figures
    • Process: Melting the figures using a spoon over a candle flame
    • Interpretation: The resulting shapes are analyzed symbolically to predict the future
    • Predictions: Representative of love, success, health, travel, wealth, etc.
    • Participation: Typically done in small groups or families
  4. 4
    Dinner for One is a short black-and-white comedy sketch that is often broadcasted on German television on New Year's Eve. It has become a beloved tradition, with many Germans watching it every year.
  5. 5
    Raclette is a popular dish served on New Year's Eve in Germany. It consists of melted cheese, potatoes, and various meats and vegetables, which are cooked on a tabletop grill.
  6. 6
    The Neujahrskonzert is a classical music concert held in Vienna on New Year's Day. It is broadcasted live around the world and features the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
  7. 7
    Glühwein is a mulled wine that is often served on New Year's Eve in Germany. It is made by heating red wine with spices like cinnamon and cloves, and is a popular way to stay warm during the winter months.
    Glühwein is a traditional German beverage consumed during the winter months, especially around Christmas and New Year's. The name 'Glühwein' translates to 'glow wine' in English, referring to the warmth and comforting feeling it provides when consumed. It is a type of mulled wine, made by heating red wine with various spices and flavorings.
    • Ingredients: Red wine, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, orange peel, sugar
    • Serving temperature: Hot, usually heated between 60-70 degrees Celsius
    • Serving vessel: Mugs or glasses with handles, often decorated with Christmas-themed designs
    • Alcohol content: Varies depending on the recipe, but typically around 8-13% ABV
    • Aroma: Warm and spicy, with hints of cinnamon and citrus
  8. 8
    Feuerzangenbowle is a traditional German drink made by adding a sugar cone soaked in rum to hot mulled wine. The sugar cone is then set on fire, creating a dramatic spectacle.
    Feuerzangenbowle is a popular German New Year's tradition that involves a flaming drink. It is made by placing a sugarloaf soaked in rum on top of a metal holder, lighting it on fire, and letting the caramelized rum-soaked sugar drip into a pot of red wine filled with spices. The resulting drink is warm, sweet, and aromatic, perfect for cold winter nights.
    • Ingredients: Red wine, rum, sugar, spices
    • Preparation: Soaking a sugarloaf in rum, lighting it on fire, letting the caramelized sugar drip into a pot of red wine filled with spices
    • Flaming Sugar: A sugarloaf soaked in rum is lit on fire, creating a spectacle
    • Warm Drink: Feuerzangenbowle is served warm, making it a cozy winter beverage
    • Traditionally German: Feuerzangenbowle is a well-known tradition in Germany
  9. 9
    Berliner is a type of German pastry that is eaten on New Year's Eve. It is a doughnut-shaped pastry filled with jam or custard, and is considered a symbol of good luck for the coming year.
    The 'Berliner' is a traditional German pastry that is commonly consumed during the celebration of New Year's. It is a round, sweet and fluffy doughnut-like pastry that is usually filled with a fruit preserve or jam, such as strawberry or apricot. The exterior of the Berliner is typically dusted with powdered sugar, giving it a lightly sweet and visually appealing finish. The dough is deep-fried until it turns golden brown, resulting in a crispy outer layer that contrasts with the softness of the filling. The Berliner is enjoyed by people of all ages and is often served alongside a glass of sparkling wine at midnight when the New Year is welcomed in Germany.
    • Shape: Round
    • Texture: Fluffy and crispy
    • Filling: Fruit preserve or jam
    • Exterior Coating: Powdered sugar
    • Cooking Method: Deep-fried
  10. 10
    First-footing is a Scottish tradition that is also observed in some parts of Germany. It involves visiting friends and family on New Year's Day and bringing gifts like coal, bread, and salt, which are believed to bring good luck for the coming year.
    First-footing is a popular New Year's tradition in Germany where the first person to enter a home after midnight on New Year's Eve is believed to bring luck and blessings for the upcoming year. It is considered auspicious if the first-footer is a tall, dark-haired man.
    • Timing: First-footing occurs right after midnight on New Year's Eve.
    • First-footer: The first person to enter a home after midnight is the first-footer.
    • Characteristics: Ideally, the first-footer is a tall, dark-haired man.
    • Luck and Blessings: The first-footer is believed to bring good luck and blessings for the household in the upcoming year.
    • Gifts: The first-footer often carries symbolic gifts such as a loaf of bread, salt, coal, or money.

Missing your favorite tradition?


Ranking factors for popular tradition

  1. Cultural significance
    Consider the importance of the tradition within German culture and its connection to the celebration of New Year's.
  2. Widespread participation
    Evaluate how widely practiced the tradition is across Germany, including the number of people who engage in the activity or attend related events.
  3. Historical context
    Take into account the history and origin of the tradition and its role in the evolution of German New Year's celebrations over time.
  4. Regional variations
    Acknowledge any regional variations in the tradition's practice or significance within the different German states or cities.
  5. Continuity and adaptation
    Assess whether the tradition has remained consistent throughout history or evolved to adapt to changing social, cultural, or political contexts.
  6. Media coverage
    Consider the extent to which the tradition is covered in the media, including television, newspapers, and online sources, during the New Year's period.
  7. Economic impact
    Evaluate the potential economic impact of the tradition on local businesses, tourism, and other industries.
  8. Unique and distinctive elements
    Identify any unique or distinctive aspects of the tradition that set it apart from other New Year's customs around the world.
  9. Inclusiveness and accessibility
    Assess whether the tradition is inclusive and accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.
  10. Global recognition
    Finally, consider the extent to which the German New Year's tradition is recognized and celebrated outside of Germany.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular German New Year's tradition. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or tradition is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 187 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each tradition once every 24 hours. The rank of each tradition is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular german new year's tradition

New Year's Eve, or Silvester as it is called in Germany, is a time of celebration and reflection. Germans have many traditions that they follow to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year. One of the most popular traditions is the "Bleigießen" or "lead pouring". This involves melting small pieces of lead over a flame and then dropping them into cold water. The resulting shape is then interpreted as a symbol for the coming year. Another tradition is to set off fireworks at midnight to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Eating a traditional German meal of pork and sauerkraut is also believed to bring prosperity and good fortune. Whatever the tradition, Germans take their New Year's celebrations seriously and believe that the way they spend the evening will set the tone for the entire year.

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