Miniature marzipan pigs are given as gifts at New Years in Germany, to bring good luck in the year ahead. I am not sure why pigs are associated with luck here, but one theory is that in days gone by, if you had a pig to feed your family with, you were fortunate… But then who knows? I do however want to know if my Glücksschwein was so lucky, why it didn’t cure me of my terrible headache procured the evening before, and I also want to know why some of them wear very fetching hats??
We saw in the New Year in our local Gasthof, where our initial shy nods and greetings with our fellow revellers were soon turned into hearty Prosts all round! Never trust a Bavarian offering you innocent looking little glasses of clear liquid with pretty Bavarian flags in them, as this is how you will get a headache (and the thing you think is a pickled onion is a melon hopefully!)… A good night was had by all though, and we said goodbye to 2011 with lots of laughter, a table cloth nearly in flames, fireworks and new local friends. Whether I will recognise them in the cold light of day is yet to be discovered, but they are a friendly bunch and they know how to welcome a New Year properly!!
At the end of the evening The Small People were asked whether they would like to take part in a new years custom of melting metal shapes on spoons, and tipping the molten liquid (supervised of course) into a bowl of water. The solidified mass is then inspected and the shape is said to reveal your coming fortune for the year. We couldn’t make head nor tail out of one shape, but the other shape kind of resembled a boat (well at the time it really resembled a boat!), which apparently predicts a lot of travel for the year ahead, which is fine by me!
So, goodbye 2011, you were hectic, frantic and at times downright stressful, and there were plenty of t0ugh decisions and sad goodbyes along the way. But happily there was also plenty of laughter, and many adventures to be enjoyed – not to mention huge new doors opening left right and centre. Let’s see what you bring shall we? Happy New Year everyone…