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Am Silvesterabend

We have already devoted a Yabla German lesson to the celebration of New Year's Eve in Germany with an explanation of the phrase Guten Rutsch ("a good slide into the new year"), but let's take a detailed look at the German word for New Year's Eve: der Silvester (or das Silvester, either way is correct).

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The term Silvester originates from the Christian feast which takes place on the anniversary of the death of Pope Silvester I on December 31st, and is also used (with language-specific variant spellings) to denote New Year's Eve in many countries, including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Slovenia.

 

Was machen wir eigentlich an Silvester?

What are we actually doing on New Year's Eve?

Caption 2, Im Zoo - Der Jahreswechsel für die Tiere

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Wie verbringen Sie Silvester? -Ganz gemütlich zu Hause.

How will you spend New Year's Eve? -Very comfortably at home.

Caption 7, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Linkenheim

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Wer an Silvester nicht alleine Raketen kucken will...

Those who do not want to watch fireworks by themselves on New Year's Eve...

Caption 42, Leidenszeit für Singles - Online-Dating-Hochsaison

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Wie feiert ihr den Silvesterabend? Also, ich feier mit meiner Mama und meinem Papa zu Hause.

How do you celebrate New Year's Eve? Well, I celebrate with my mom and my dad at home.

Captions 17-18, Silvester - Vorsätze für das neue Jahr - Karlsruhe

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As you see in the last example, Silvester can be combined with Abend (evening) to form the compound noun der Silvesterabend.

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Further Learning
So regardless of whether you celebrate Silvester at home with family or out with friends, we at Yabla wish you all a happy and safe guten Rutsch into the New Year!

Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

We've gone into detail about the German phrase of "sliding" (rutschen) into the New Year in a lesson last year, so let's instead take a quick peek at two new videos that Yabla is releasing in celebration of Silvester — and I don't mean "Sylvester and Tweetie!"

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Was machen wir eigentlich an Silvester?

What are we actually doing on New Year's Eve?

Caption 2, Im Zoo - Der Jahreswechsel für die Tiere

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A major part of New Year celebrations in many countries is the shooting off of fireworks and firecrackers. Der Böller is a firecracker, and "to set off a firecracker" is the verb böllern. If we turn this verb into a noun or nominalize it, it becomes das Böllern
 

Fester Bestandteil: meist das Anstoßen auf das neue Jahr und das Böllern.

An integral part: usually the toast to the new year and the setting off of firecrackers.

Caption 4, Im Zoo - Der Jahreswechsel für die Tiere

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And of course parties are a key part of the celebration: 
 

Der Neujahrsempfang ist aber auch die ideale Plattform, um gute Neuigkeiten bekannt zu machen.

The New Year's reception is indeed also the ideal platform for announcing some good news.

Captions 3-4, Rhein-Main-TV - FSV-Neujahrsempfang

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You may also see it described as die Silvesterparty or das Neujahrsfest. Either way, have fun — but not so much that you'll regret it the next day! 

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Further Learning
Visit Yabla German to find more examples of typical New Year's terms like das Anstoßen and das Feuerwerk.

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