How to Survive (German) New Year’s Eve


New Year’s Eve is coming up, and while some of you might have had a quiet night in, others may be a bit… shell-shocked. In case you didn’t know, the normally reserved Germans tend to go all out for ringing in the New Year, complete with fireworks, alcohol, bitter cold, fireworks, more alcohol, missing fingers, and so on. In short- it’s a war zone out there. And because I care, dear reader, about your well-being, I have decided to share my advice for how to best survive a German New Year’s Celebration, having had 6 years of experience.

  1. There’s no such thing as too much alcohol

If, in the course of the evening, someone says something along the lines of:

“Oh, that’s it for me, no more.”


“I shudnt drink I cannt shpeak proberly ennymor.”


“No thanks, I’m a recovering alcoholic.”

That’s quitter’s talk! This is Germany, where there’s no such thing as having “, just people having a rough night.[1] If at any point you see a friend not consuming some sort of alcoholic beverage, immediately slap a beer/wine bottle/glass of champagne/absinthe in their hand and tell them to consume it. After all, they’d do the same for you.

  1. Stock up on fireworks (and earplugs and bandages)

Believe it or not, there’s one thing Germans actually cannot get enough of on New Year’s Eve, and that’s blowing shit up. You can actually purchase these explosives way in advance at the local super market- the freaking Netto![2] Many actually plan to launch their firecrackers exactly at midnight, but there’s almost always an eager beaver looking to get the party started a bit earlier. One time I saw a guy shooting a flare gun! In the middle of the Heidelberg Altstadt! So whether you’re planning on scaring the pants off of your neighbor by launching your bottle rocket from your balcony, or want to just play some real world Modern Warfare by firing your Roman Candle at random strangers on the street, be prepared for battle[3] at least a week in advance.

  1. Steer clear of Ü30 parties

I don’t care if you actually ARE over 30, don’t go to these parties. Most of the time the venue counts on the fact that people over 30 tend to have their shit together.[4] This is usually reflected in the overpriced entry, drinks, and DJ. Want the club experience, except aged horrifically and in poor lighting? Of course you don’t. So don’t subject yourself to this type of thing and instead accept that you are aging with grace and modesty while watching “Dinner for One” at home with your other friends.[5]

  1. Be prepared to lose track of all your friends, then find them, and then lose them all again

It’s only natural that, in the course of all the explosions and alcohol, you’d lose a friend in the fray. Usually it happens around 22:30-23:00 after you’ve topped off your first bottle of wine.[6] You’ll be climbing a mountain and then hey! Isn’t that what’s-his-face? With what’s-her-name? You haven’t seen them in months! And then, just like that, your friends are gone. You give up all hope, wander the wasteland of firecracker packaging and beer bottles, feeling the hours[7] pass. And then, almost miraculously right before midnight, your friends appear out of nowhere and you’re able to ring in the New Year right- together, as friends. It’s a truly wonderful feeling as you face the broad, open horizon, with a brand new year to make your mark, to have your friends by your side. Then, after you go to a bar to top off, you lose all your friends again as everyone goes off for a drunken hookup they’ll later regret.[8]

  1. Make a big deal of telling everyone your New Year’s Resolutions

Probably the most annoying part of New Year’s anywhere else is the whole resolution thing. Oh sure, bettering yourself is a wonderful thing to aspire to- but how many resolutions do you actually keep? Then, two months later, your friends all call you out for swearing at an elderly lady counting out pennies in line at the supermarket.[9] Fortunately for you- in Germany, everyone minds their own business! Who cares if you promised not to eat as many Big Macs? Who’s keeping track of how many days you actually go to the gym? Who would call you out for swearing at an elderly lady counting out pfennigs in line at the supermarket? No one! Because in Germany, either no one gives a rat’s ass about you or who you are, or they’re close enough to you that they feel awkward for telling you off. So this New Year’s Eve, say it loud, and say it proud- “I resolve to stop telling people on Tinder that I’m a pilot!”[10]


[1] For 5 years

[2] Stock up on your wilted lettuce, knock off pasta, and why not some M80’s?

[3] And injuries

[4] Ha!

[5] A prospect which sounds better every year

[6] By yourself

[7] Really just minutes

[8] So I hear

[9] …that might have been one of my resolutions

[10] After February!

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One thought on “How to Survive (German) New Year’s Eve

  1. […] For more German festivities, check out “How to Survive (German) New Year’s Eve” […]


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