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Helen WhittleMay 1, 2012

It's never too early to get the party started.

Image: Fotolia/lassedesignen

One of the joys of the German language for Anglophones is stumbling across words that just don't exist in the English language, but certainly should. Like reinfeiern, for example. The German prefix rein- indicates a direction and means "in" or "into." Feiern on the hand simply means to party or celebrate. Joined together, the compound verb literally translates as "to party into." In reality it means to party into the party itself, because Germans have a tradition of toasting at midnight on the eve of important celebrations, like birthdays. The advantage is that you get to "party into" your birthday and then celebrate it all over again the next day on your actual birthday. But partying in isn't just reserved for birthday. On the eve of May, Germans like to reinfeiern, welcoming in the spring, with some tasty and highly alcoholic Maibowle and plenty of dancing. So the next time someone invites you to reinfeiern, be prepared for a late night and a serious hangover

Author: Helen Whittle
Editor: Kate Bowen