Boom boom bang! – New Years Eve, the German firework-mania and good intentions

new year fireworksMore than 120 million euros – that’s the total amount of money that Germans spent for fireworks last year (I always think it’s funny to say “last year” when it was only 2 days ago, don’t you?). Isn’t that crazy?? Not a big surprise, though. My boyfriend told me he saw a guy in the supermarket who bought stuff for 700 euros alone. Germans are known to be a very serious people, altogether decent and righteous. But when law allows it to riot – then yeah, we go WILD! πŸ˜€Β 

Once a year, on New Years Eve, every person in Germany is allowed to buy and fire off fireworks. And hell knows they do it properly! Let me explain why I feared for my life on New Years Eve.

I think everybody knows that celebrations of any kind tend to escalate in a certain district of the city or precisely one crossing in this district: The “Sielwall” in the “Quarter” (yes, we only call it “the Quarter” = das Viertel, 1/4 in short). The Sielwall is a big crossing where on any occasion – won soccer games, lost soccer games, festivals and New Years Eve – people gather to celebrate but also to riot. It’s the place where everybody played soccer in the middle of the street when we won the soccer world championship in summer 2014. The Quarter is probably the midpoint of the alternative scene of Bremen with many nice bars and cultural centers – but sadly it also attracts people who love the chaos and destruction.

new year fireworks Sielwall Bremen

The Sielwall crossing in Bremen on New Years Eve.

This is why on New Years Eve, because they obviously expected trouble, the police was already in place on Sielwall, when we – after celebrating with our friends nearby – arrived. (You see them on the picture on the left side with white helmets.) It was a quarter to twelve. Noise and smoke already filled the air between the houses on Sielwall. We approached the crossing and already I feared to be hit by a firework. Some people started a rocket horizontally, which is really dangerous! There were groups of teenagers who, with an expression of wild joy in their eyes, threw fireworks in every direction. They were absolutely fearless and that is why I feared for my health.

We very quickly decided not to stay on Sielwall. We should have taken the many people who walked in the opposite direction on our way to Sielwall as a sign. Well, we made it to the “Osterdeich”, the dike at the river Weser, until twelve. There we fired off our own fireworks (although only one of us brought some, I guess my friends like me don’t think it’s soooo important and the high prices for fireworks do the rest). This way we welcomed the new year. It was lovely. Only one thing made me sad: We had to spill the sparkling wine because we needed the bottle for starting the rockets… πŸ™‚

Happy New Year!

These are my good intentions for 2015:

  • Finish my Bachelor thesis on time!
  • Not to lose faith that there’s a job opportunity for a student of social and cultural sciences like me……
  • Save money for traveling
  • Stop eating in front of the television πŸ™‚

What are yours?

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