The examination of a Turkish with Germany: Cost of New Year Celebration in Germany
Before 2023, I wrote many articles about Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), some traditional German Christmas food and drinks and special events during Christmas time period. Germany is really so beautiful just before new year and during Christmas time. Everywhere is shiny, and all decorated with lights. I have always adored this environment in Germany since I arrived here. However, the beauty of this environment ended on the last day of 2022, at a huge cost.
How do Germans celebrate the New Year?
Like all other countries, Germany also prepares a special show with fireworks. Everywhere is bright, sparkling and colorful at 00:00. Like all other capital cities, Berlin also organized a very special and professional show of fireworks for all of Berlin residents and the organisation was wonderful. However, there were also some unprofessional celebration and usage of fireworks that cause accidents, injuries, even death.
Firework sales to households in grocery stores for New Year celebrations
In Germany, fireworks can be easily bought in grocery stores like Lidl, Aldi, Netto, Penny, etc. Some markets like Edeka decided to not sell fireworks because it causes environmental pollution. However, many grocery store chains decided to sell it because it is a profitable product to sell at New Year period and it is legal to sell it. Moreover, German parliament also discussed it so much whether it should be allowed to sell or not. As a result, the sale of fireworks was authorized for New Year celebrations.
New Year celebrations in previous years
I have been living in Germany for more than 4 years. If I had wanted to celebrate all my New Year’s Eve in Germany, it would have been my fifth New Year celebration in Germany. However, I generally preferred to go to my home country (Turkey) for a New Year celebration and spend this time with my family and older friends. Thus, I celebrated only two New Year in Germany and have only experienced for two New Year celebrations. We welcomed 2021 at the first one and 2023 at the second one.
Celebration of 2021 was quite simple. Usage of fireworks by households was not allowed, so grocery stores did not sell them. Even though some people get it from Amazon or other online shopping websites, I had not heard of any accidents in 2021. Maybe I was not following the German news too much.
New Year celebration of 2023
With my increasing awareness and integration, I followed more news this year related to Germany. Thus, I realized the tradition of celebrating the New Year with the usage of fireworks by households. I read some articles about counter arguments of fireworks sales. After my experience on the New Year’s Eve, I understood the reason for these arguments and I agreed with them about their arguments.
New Year Celebrations in Berlin
On New Year’s Eve, Berlin was like a crime scene. We heard so much sad news, accidents and incidents from Berlin. On December 31, 2022 in Berlin, the fire brigade was called 72 times only between 20:00 and 21:30 due to fires caused by the misuse of fireworks. Unfortunately, the situation became much more serious in the late hours of the night. As a result, the fire department was called 1717 times in Berlin during the entire New Year’s Eve night. Moreover, 15 firefighters and 18 police officers were injured in 48 attacks on police and firefighters. 105 people were detained. 749 fires broke out.
One dead at New Year celebrations
Even though the main crime scene on New Year’s Eve is Berlin, it was not only limited to Berlin. We heard many big cities had sorrowful incidents. When so many people got injured because of fireworks, a 17-year-old youth died as well. Many institutions demand an immediate ban on the use of individual explosives.
Legal actions after New Year celebration
While there was discussion that people who attacked firefighters or police on New Year’s Eve would face up to 3 years in prison or a fine, we later learned that 103 suspects arrested on New Year’s Eve in Berlin were released.
The reason for the incidents on New Year’s Eve
Former German Health Minister Jens Spahn blamed irregular migration for the incidents in Berlin. On the other hand, when it turned out that 45 of the people detained on New Year’s Eve were German, the CDU Party demanded to know their names.
New Year Celebrations in Hagen
I celebrated the New Year’s Eve with my boyfriend in a nice Greek restaurant in Hagen. Even though we heard the fire truck siren a few times, I cannot say it was a scary night in Hagen. We also received a message from our landlady to our apartment’s WhatsApp group that we should close the jalousies to prevent fireworks from entering the house. Then we implemented the advice of the landlady and also behaved carefully while we were walking on the street. That was enough for us to protect ourselves. The best thing about living in a small city is feeling more secured than living in an unknown mass.