In German, we actually have three different ways of saying Happy New Year.
Surprised…? Not really, are you.
1) Anytime late December until midnight Dec 31, we wish others “Einen guten Beschluss!” ( = a good ending to the year!) or ” Einen guten Rutsch! (= a good “slide” into the New Year!)
2) At midnight itself, when we run into others with a drink in hand, we say “Prost Neujahr!” (Cheers to the New Year!)
3) Once we get past the partying stage and anytime up to the end of the first week (or later), we greet others by saying “Alles Gute im Neuen Jahr! (Happy New Year!)
In the supermarkets and other shops, you might find quite a few of these gifts, such as pots of four-leaf clover decorated with a plastic piglet, marzipan pigs at the bakery, and various other good-luck presents.
The chimney sweep is also a favorite good-luck messenger.
These small gifts are given to friends, family, neighbors and/or business associates before and shortly after the New Year.