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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 1, 2008

New Year’s Eve in Germany

Filed under Life in Europe

Germany survived another New Year’s eve, which is pretty good considering the fact that the Germans blow up an estimated 100 million € of fireworks to celebrate the new year.

30 years ago we were awakened at midnight by our neighbors blowing up loud firecrackers right in front heavyweight title fight of our apartment building in Bonn. That was our first "close up" encounter with New Year’s eve in Germany. In a populated area (which is a lot of Germany) you hear isolated firecrackers starting in late afternoon, then a few more into the evening, then after about 10 p.m. they are quite frequent until midnight when the real barrage starts. There are the usual pre-New Year’s eve warnings from the fire department and health officials, and today or tomorrow there will be reports on how many times the fire department was needed. As loud as it might be here on New Year’s eve, though, it is nothing like Manila, where we lived nearly seven years. There you heard constant noise from the late afternoon onwards, and the air even smelled like burned gunpowder. The New Year’s barrage here is mild compared to that! (The photo shows the city of Koblenz at midnight.)

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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