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How to Say Happy New Year in German & New Year Wishes

Learn all the German New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join GermanPod101 for a special German New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in German

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March - December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in German? Let a native teach you! At GermanPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these German New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in German
  2. Must-Know German Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in German
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How GermanPod101 Can Help You Learn German

But let’s start with some vocabulary for German New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in German

Silvester is the German word for the last day of the year, in other words, December 31. The name “Silvester” dates back to Pope Silvester I, who died in Rome on the last day of the year – the 355th day.

What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?

If you don’t already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep reading!

On December 31, shops are open till 2 pm. Those with jobs need to work, while others finish their shopping before noon for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, known as Neujahr, for the following celebrations. Some pass the time with parlor games and in the evening, they eat raclette or fondue together.

In the last days of the year, people wish each other a “good start for the New Year” which is known as Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr, and literally translates to “a good Head-Start into the new year.” At big public places such as the Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, many people celebrate the change of the year together. Church bells ring on New Year at midnight, and many people watch New Years Eve fireworks, which are called Neujahrsfeuerwerk. Others set off fireworks themselves, including rockets or firecrackers, or welcome the New Year with sparklers.

At midnight, most people clink glasses filled with champagne and wish each other a “Happy New Year” or Frohes neues Jahr in German. Some dress up and go to a New Year’s party and celebrate in high spirits until the early morning. Others celebrate quietly at home or watch the British comedy sketch Dinner for One on television, which has traditionally been broadcast since 1963.

On Silvester afternoon, people entertain themselves with the old fortune-telling custom of lead-pouring; to get one’s horoscope for the new year, lead is melted with a candle and poured into cold water. The lead hardens into a shape that is interpreted to have a certain meaning.

Now it’s time to answer our quiz question-

What purpose did fireworks in Germany serve originally?

The old Germans, who lived in the fourth and sixth century BC, expelled evil spirits with fire and noise. This tradition is a forerunner to today’s Silvester fireworks displays.

Happy New Year!
Frohes Neues Jahr!

2. Must-Know German Words & Phrases for the New Year!

German Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

Jahr

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in German could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

Mitternacht

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Neujahr

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

Party

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

Tanzen

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

Champagner

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

Feuerwerk

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

8- Countdown

Countdown

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts - a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Silvester-Urlaub

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday - to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

Konfetti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Silvester

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

Trinkspruch

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

Vorsatz

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

Parade

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At GermanPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what German New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the German word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at GermanPod101 - what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your German friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Mehr lesen.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more German in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your German language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Mehr Zeit mit der Familie verbringen.

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Abnehmen.

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Geld sparen.

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to GermanPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year - it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Mit dem Rauchen aufhören.

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Etwas Neues lernen.

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess - no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Weniger trinken.

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Regelmäßig Sport treiben.

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Mich gesund ernähren.

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study German with GermanPod101

Deutsch lernen mit GermanPod101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning German, especially with us! Learning how to speak German can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. GermanPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special German new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in German, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read German incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with GermanPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

Click here to read the most inspirational Language Learning Quotes!

As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in German could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in German - it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with German - learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with GermanPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn German! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that GermanPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning German at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with German that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning German with GermanPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

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