“It is always somewhat dramatic in my neighborhood. Three years ago an apartment in my building caught fire and was completely destroyed. Oh, well. Silvester in Berlin.” –Excerpt from a “Happy New Year” email from a German friend in Friedenau
New Year’s Eve has its own name and personality here in Berlin. The holiday isn’t known as New Year’s Eve here; it’s called Silvester. Named for a pope from the 4th century AD, the odd name persists, though the celebration is as pagan as anything you might dream up.
Daytime activities include fortune-telling games and a viewing of a 1963 British comedy sketch called Dinner for One, and thanks to a package from a German intern we’d hosted, we were introduced to both at once. Continue reading