Lucky Charms for the German New Year

Between Christmas and  New Year, most supermarkets and bakeries sell these lucky charms.

chocolate piglet: das Schokoladenschweinchen

chocolate piglets

chocolate piglets

marzipan piglet: das Marzipan Schweinchen

marzipan piglets

marzipan piglets

das Marzipan Schweinchen mit Schornsteinfeger (m)

chimney sweeps and pigs

chimney sweeps and pigs

der Schornsteinfeger mit Fliegenpilz (m)

toadstool with chimneysweep

chimney sweep with toadstool

der Schornsteinfeger mit Berliner

donuts for New Year's Eve

donuts for New Year’s Eve

There are numerous temptations out there.

Same procedure as every year.

Three Ways to say Happy New Year in German

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!)

New Year's good luck charm

New Year’s good luck charm

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.

Christmas Goodies Made in Germany

This is just in case if you have ever wondered about the chocolate-covered cubes decorating the supermarket shelves. These simple pralines are part of the seasonal section, indicating that Christmas is just around the corner – from the marketing viewpoint only. They are called Dominosteine, just like the Domino game.

But this kind here is much yummier. These Domino pralines are filled with three layers of Lebkuchen, jelly, and marzipan.

I have cut one open for you to get a good luck at its heavenly inner life.

Dominosteine - the edible kind - from Germany

Dominosteine – the edible kind – from Germany

Try them - you might like them.

Try them – you might like them!

None of my foreign friends and acquaintances had ever tasted them before, hence the reason for this post. Most really liked it, even though the taste of marzipan can be rather sweet by itself.

Once, during my two-year stay in the U.S.A., I really got desperate for marzipan and learned how to make it myself. Just mix the right amount of powdered almonds, powdered sugar, and warm water. Voilà! You’ve got homemade marzipan.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion of Dominosteine in German, listen to our podcast.

And no – this is not paid advertising. I just really love them and hope you enjoy them, too.


DominosteineThe word Dominostein is used to describe a small baked sweet that is eaten at Christmas time in Germany.  It is made up of two or three layers, the base being Lebkuchen, the middle fruit jelly, and the top layer marzipan or persipan.  This is then covered in a thin chocolate coating.

Dominosteine are a relatively recent invention.  They were created in Dresden in 1936 and were popular during the Second World War as a form of sweet due to the small amounts of ingredients needed to make them.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast


ChriststollenChriststollen is a traditional cake that is eaten at Christmas.

It takes the form of a rectangle or trapezium and is usually covered in icing sugar.

The main ingredients include raisins, sultanas, currants and citrus peel, but beyond that there a many variations, such as with marzipan, extra butter or nut.

Arguably the most famous version is the stollen from Dresden. This is made to a very strict recipe and the name “Dresdner Stollen” and it’s variants are protected.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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