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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Germany series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential information about Germany, German culture, and German people. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson #16 - Make a Wish for New Year’s Day in Germany.
On New Year’s Day, no matter whether you’re listening to the radio, watching TV, or looking online or in magazines—everywhere people are discussing New Year's resolutions. “Resolution” in German is Vorsatz. But why do we repeatedly try to get rid of our bad habits each year and replace them with good behavior? Well, it all originated with the Roman God Janus.
Janus, or in German Janus, is the God of the beginning and the end, and he lends his name to the month of January, or in German, Januar. Janus is often depicted as two-headed, or doppelköpfig, and he has the ability to look into the past and the future at the same time. This makes the month of January the optimal time to ponder the last months' Erfolge und Misserfolge, or “Successes and failures”, to make new plans for the future.
A new beginning promises new luck, and so at the beginning of the new year, people in Germany, like in many other countries, resolve to do a lot of things. Apart from eating more healthily, engaging in sports and quitting smoking, reducing stress and spending more time with family are also popular resolutions.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What was your new year’s resolution for this year, and how did it go?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com! Until next time!