New Year’s Eve in Germany
I realized yesterday that I never took the time to write about the first truly great New Year’s Eve I’ve ever had. The night started with two of my husband’s buddies coming over for dinner. Raclette is such a fun way to spend an evening with friends! A raclette is a type of electric grill that you use right at the table. Our table was covered in small bowls filled with mushrooms, marinated meats, bacon, onions, bell peppers, baby corn, hot peppers, raclette cheese, and bread. The top of our raclette has two different cooking surfaces; a marble stone and a metal tray. Beneath that is a sort of open toaster oven. Each person gets two small trays in which you normally place a small piece of bread (we use baguette), some cheese, and whatever other toppings you’d like. Slide it into the toaster and wait until it’s cooked to your liking. While your meat cooks on top, you can enjoy the freshly-toasted, cheesy bread. The meal is long. It’s cozy. You eat a little at a time and enjoy the conversation as you wait for your food to cook.
After dinner, we started a fire in the fireplace and played darts until a few minutes before midnight. At that point, we meandered outside with our small package of cheap fireworks, a bottle of champagne, and plastic champagne cups with removable bottoms. We toasted to the new year and the fireworks began. It was a SPECTACULAR sight! Where I’m from, our summers and winters are so dry that the BIG fireworks are not legal unless you have permission from the city and a firetruck there to help put out any potential fires. In Germany, however, winters are pretty wet so you can get the giant fireworks and set them off right in your own backyard. Everywhere I looked, I could see fireworks lighting up the midnight sky. It was as if I was in the very center of the most spectacular fireworks show ever.
I squealed with delight! My unabashed joy unraveled me. I felt like a child so overcome with glee that I couldn’t control myself. I hooped and hollered. I jumped up and down. I laughed. Our tiny fireworks made it even better. We were a group of 4 grown adults gushing over cheap fireworks for children as if they were the biggest we’d ever seen. It was absolutely delightful.
The last 20 months of living in Germany have made me feel more alive than ever before, and I look forward to many more joyful Silvester celebrations in the future!