For 2013 New Year celebration, I chose to celebrate it in Copenhagen, Denmark. Why? It’s a bit long story. In late November – early December I planned to celebrate it with my two other friends. They were on tight budget and one of them even had visa problem, couldn’t go outside Germany. So we thought Denmark would be a good decision because it’s not expensive to go there, we can go by train. In addition, going by train means less likely to get visa checked.
But when the date got closer, the two walked out due to some reasons. At that time I had contacted my friend in Aalborg for paying him a visit before the New Year celebration. So there I was, traveling alone to Denmark. I went to Copenhagen by train from Aalborg. It took about 4.5 hours to reach Copenhagen.
Hostel in Copenhagen
Arriving in Copenhagen, I went straight to a hostel that I had booked. The hostel was called Generator, the only one available when I looked for online in early December. The hostel is big, clean, and hip. It doesn’t look like ‘traditional’ hostel where it is small and packed. It seems this hostel has been industrialized, it looks like a hotel but with hostel concept.
|My bed at Generator Hostel|
|View from female dorm|
|Female dorm at Generator Hostel|
New Year Celebration
I arrived in Copenhagen at noon on December 31st. After put my bag at the hostel, I searched the iconic place for celebrating the New Year where normally the fireworks show be held. Some people told me that fireworks show is held in the City Hall Square. So I went there to survey the location. This was also to know the route that I have to take from my hostel to the location, so I won’t get lost during the celebration.
|Me at the New Year celebration|
When I reached the City Hall Square at around 4.30 PM, the square was empty. There were no signs of preparation of a big celebration. No stage or any property at all. I wondered whether I got the right information about the celebration. But nevertheless, I knew how to go there, so I went back to hostel to rest a bit.
At 10 PM, I started to go from the hostel to the square. People were flocking the street and they also went to the square. When I arrived there, then I know what it means by fireworks show. Apparently the square was full with people playing fireworks! They lighted the fireworks as many and as crazily as they can. There was no ‘coordination’ on lighting the fireworks. Few even hit the City Hall building!
|Fireworks at City Hall, Copenhagen|
|During the change of the year|
This reminded me of Ied celebration in Indonesia where people just play fireworks in the street. Even my father still passes the tradition to my nephews and nieces! So nothing special in this Copenhagen’s fireworks show. I thought it’s gonna be a professional fireworks show, like when the fireworks form a particular shape or word like “2013” in the sky… Nothing!
So other people who didn’t have fireworks just watch the ‘show’ around the square. But surely the area was jammed packed with people. It was hard to move around. However I managed to change places. In the beginning I stayed across the square but after 11.30 PM I tried to go closer to the square. When I walked along the square, there was one firework exploded near me and the sound was so loud, it made my ear hurt!!! Argh, this is the price in having unprofessional show… I wonder whether fire has been involved in the celebration…
|Me, among the New Year crowd|
I was very curious on what happened during the changing time from 2012 to 2013. But apparently I hoped too much. If the fireworks show was sporadically and there was no stage around, there wouldn’t be any official celebration. So there was no countdown or anything. People just went crazier in lighting the fireworks and screamed by themselves. Weird! This is the capital city of a Western Europe country. But the New Year celebration was far behind the developing countries…
After the Celebration
I went back to Germany on the 1st of January. I checked out from the hostel at 8.30 AM and went to train station. The waste from last night celebration was still all over the streets. The smells were so bad. It was really different than my experience in Berlin when at 8 PM most of the streets were cleaned already. But yeah, now I know the difference between two big Western European capitals in celebrating the New Year.