In Austria, it is traditional to exchange New Year's Eve charms with friends and family. Traditional charms are pigs, ladybugs, mushrooms with white polka dots, horseshoes, chimney sweeps, playing cards showing a winning hand, champagne bottles, gold coins and 4 leaf clovers. Maybe I am forgetting something, but that seems to be the main theme. In the past few years glow-in-the-dark Fimo clay figures of dragons, frogs, unicorns and the sort have shown up.
Right after Christmas, many stands pop up along the sidewalks. Some are small, others are larger.
Most of the also sell fireworks. Lots of people with smaller children buy fireworks and set them off after dark and that way they don't have to stay up until midnight when the town really goes crazy. There is a big concern over fireworks this year...With no snow or rain, it is very dry.
The bakeries are full of breads shaped like pigs, special cakes and mazipan pigs. Tomorrow I will go buy the breads so they are fresh. We will have our traditional fondu dinner around 4. Usually we go up on our building roof at midnight where we can see the city fireworks. After measuring the air pollution from fireworks last year, the city announced they would do a laser light show instead. The forecast is for cloud cover so I doubt there will be anything to see.
Update on my nephew who was in the hospital...He is home now!