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When Circus co-owner Jim arrived in Berlin more than two decades ago, he was not the first Englishman to be baffled by a particular New Year’s Eve tradition in Germany involving an 18-minute two-hander comedy sketch, performed by two British actors and yet almost completely unknown in the English speaking world.
Don’t know what we’re talking about? Then read on and discover more about this unlikely New Year’s Eve tradition, how you can join in for yourself at The Circus, and what else is happening both here in our houses and elsewhere in the city as we celebrate the end of 2023 and the arrival of 2024.
Good to know – The Circus Hostel, Hotel and Apartments are filling up for the holiday season, so follow the BOOK NOW link above to experience everything that makes New Year’s Eve in Berlin so special.
(Photo © Carolin Weinkopf)
DINNER FOR ONE
Dinner for One, also known at the 90th Birthday Party, is an English-language comedy sketch that was filmed featuring British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden for the West German TV station NDR back in 1962. Despite being entirely in English, it has become essential viewing not only in Germany but elsewhere in Europe on New Year’s Eve. Indeed, it is said to be the show that has been broadcast the most times in German television history.
If you don’t happen to be in Germany (or Austria, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland or Estonia) on the 31st December, you feel for the sketch on YouTube. You can decide for yourself how funny it is… but one tip: it might seem like a good idea to create a drinking game out of it. But trying to match the butler drink for drink is the recipe for a very short New Year’s Eve!
As has been tradition for many, many years, we will be showing Dinner for One in the Circus Cafe on 31 December, so you don’t miss this most German of Silvester traditions.
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE CIRCUS
As well as Dinner for One in the Circus Cafe, we’ll be following our own New Year’s traditions with hot rum punch, a special raffle and other fun and games as we begin the countdown to midnight. So come and join us for a few drinks before you hit the town, or celebrate with us at the Circus Hostel and Hotel.
More details of what is taking place around New Year’s Eve at The Circus can be found on our events page.
NEW YEAR’S EVE IN BERLIN
Despite the cold, it is fair to say that New Year’s Eve is probably the biggest street party of the year in Berlin. The most famous event is the party at the Brandenburg Gate, although whether you want to brave the cold for the mix of, let’s say, interesting German and international acts is entirely up to you. The firework display at midnight is usually pretty spectacular though.
If you do want to join the party at the Brandenburg Gate you’ll need to get a ticket. As for the fireworks, you won’t be able to miss them, as Berliners create their own impromptu displays across the city as the clock strikes twelve.
If you are looking for something special to do, you’ll find a good round-up of events and other things happening on 31 December on the Visit Berlin website.
As for the morning after the night before – Berliners and visitors alike shake off the cobwebs on the 1 January by gathering at the Brandenburg Gate for a leisurely 4-kilometre run past some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks. The New Year’s Run is free to join and you don’t need to pre-register. Just get there with your running shoes on sometime before 12 noon.