You can buy fireworks in Germany. I hadn’t realised this until I was idly flipping through some junk mail last week. “Really?” my husband asked, his ears almost pricking up. “Where, when?” were his next questions. There is a three day period after Christmas and before New Years (Silverster in Deutsche) where fireworks suddenly appear in almost any shop you care to walk past. Having just last month moved to the beautiful city of Bonn, I’d never been anywhere where fireworks are legal so I was pretty excited and my husband incredibly so! We stocked up on some rockets and crackers as soon as they hit the shops. The next day we decided we needed more and bought basically double what we had the first day thus tripling our stock. I thought we had a lot. But after seeing the fireworks frenzy on NYE we hardly had any!
We started to hear crackers being set off the first night after they were available, the next night we heard even more and had bets as to how many we would hear on our walk into town for dinner (I won!). Then, on New Years Eve as soon as it was dark, it started for real. You could hear loud cracks, echoes and wizzing noises coming from every direction, see faint lights sparking in the distance and smell the sharp smokey scent of sulphur in the air. We let our stash off in a park near our house, as we weren’t sure where we were allowed to, and my husband is nothing but cautious. It turns out we were the only people there and we had a ball! It was a lot of fun as well as being eerily beautiful in the dark park, seeing the bursts of colour and the light from streetlamps shining hazily through the smoke. After we had exhausted our stash we caught the last train into Bonn Zentrum before midnight. Walking along we saw where everyone else seemed to have let their fireworks off, right in the streets and even in the underground! It all culminated in a frenzy of fireworks around midnight. It was truly amazing. We had a view over the river Rheine with fireworks going on all around us. Some let off literally metres away from us. I had never seen so many fireworks in one place before. What a fabulous way to bring in a new year!