Before the new year begins, Germans greet either with:
Einen guten Beschluss! (a good closure) or
Einen guten Rutsch! (a good slide).
Only when the new year has actually begun, you will hear Ein gutes neues Jahr! (A happy New Year).
To either of these greetings, if you happen to be in Germany, you can reply with several general versions of “The same to you!” by saying:
Ebenso! or Gleichfalls! or Ebenfalls!
or more directly addressing the person:
Ihnen auch! (you too; the polite version) or
Dir auch! (you too; the familiar version)
Clover and pigs (as well as chimney sweeps) are among the many good luck charms we give away before New Year’s Day. Starting 2 January, these items usually go half-priced.
So tomorrow, Monday, 31 December, is your last chance to buy presents. Keep in mind that stores close by early afternoon.