German Greeting for New Year’s Eve

We say ‘Einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr’ (A good slide into the New Year) a few days before and up until New Year’s Eve.

When the clock strikes midnight on 31 Dec, we say ‘Prost Neujahr!’ to friends and strangers outside while watching the ensuing fireworks and sharing drinks.

The word ‘prost’ derives from the Latin word ‘prosit’, and means ‘To your health’, or ‘May it be good for you’. A long time ago, this was used mostly by university students as a drinking toast. Nowadays, most Germans use it.

The day after New Year’s Day, I usually greet people with ‘Ein gutes neues Jahr!’ I might throw in a late ‘Prost Neujahr’ if I know them well.

Right now at about 8pm on New Year’s Eve, I wish you all a Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr!

German Lesson: Happy New Year!

Was Deutsche VOR Neujahr sagen [What Germans say before New Year’s Day]:

– Einen guten Beschluss! (Happy ‘Closure’)
– Einen guten Rutsch! (Happy ‘Sliding’)

Right after midnight, we say ‘Prost Neujahr!’ (Cheers to the New Year!)

The following days, we wish ‘Alles Gute im neuen Jahr!’ (Happy New Year!)

Why do we have different greetings? For the same reason we do not wish a ‘Happy Birthday’ BEFORE the actual date (what if…). We also don’t give baby showers (what if…), nor wedding showers (what if…).

Wir Deutsche sind ein abergläubisches Volk.
We Germans are a superstitious folk.

Vokabular:
abergläubisch (Adj): superstitious
der Aberglaube: superstition
das Volk: folk

Silvester Feuerwerk

Happy New Year Greeting in German

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.

Year End in Snowy Germany

We came upon this neatly laid out greeting – all made from natural material (pine twigs) – to remind us of the holiday spirit.

Frohes Fest (Happy Holidays)

With our visitors from France and Franconia, we undertook the ever-so-German Sunday stroll through the forest. We encountered many others like us, some heading back from the Forellengut (trout farm and restaurant nearby), some on cross country skies, while others were just out for the frische Luft (fresh air).

We were out for the frische Luft and maybe a Schnaps to warm us up, but most places were booked solid and we had made no reservations.

Forest walk Oberursel/Oberstedten

We did stumble home, even without the help of Schnaps, as the paths were not cleared and walking got a bit tiring after two hours.

With this post, I want to wish all my readers a Guten Beschluss! (Happy closure!) or Einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr! (A good slide into the New Year!)