New Year’s Eve Traditions: Marzipan Pigs (Germany)


Finally we come to one of the New Year’s Eve Traditions that I can combine with a simple how to! In Germany pigs, four leaved clovers, horse shoes, toadstool and a chimney sweep are all signs of good luck.

There are lots of theories about why pigs are a symbol of good luck, ranging from pigs being able to feed your family, to boars being the centre of a bulls eye, to losers being awarded a piglet as a consolation prize in the middle ages.

For New Years, many Germans give gifts of small marzipan pigs to their friends and family. Sometimes adorned with a four leave clover, sometimes a horse shoe other times a toadstool.

How to Make Marzipan Pigs – INGREDIENTS

Ingredients  ( contains affiliate links):

  • a block of marzipan (try and get white or at worst cream, avoid yellow if you can),
  • red food colouring (we used this – US/ UK)
  • green food colouring, (we used this – US/ UK)
  • tooth pick for modelling

Piece of card and cellophane for wrapping & “presentation.

So. How to make your own Marzipan Pig (video):

So. Make your own Marzipan Pig (Photos & Step by Step):


The photo is missing the curly whirly tail! SORRY!

  1. Colour your marzipan – a few drops of red should give you pink. Knead it thoroughly. Make some in green too.
  2. Using the pink, make an oblong ball, 4 stumpy feed (make a sausage and cut off four pieces, re shape a little) a disc for nose, 2 triangles for ears and a curly whirly tail (see image).
  3. Put the four feet together, place the ball on top. Press gently down and they should stick. If not, dab with a little water.
  4. Add the nose and the ears. Again gently squeeze on. If they come off a little water should help.
  5. Add the tail (a thin sausage curled up on itself).
  6. With a toothpick add eyes.

  1. For the four leaved clover, take the green marzipan. Make four small balls and a small sausage.
  2. Stick the four balls together. Gently flatten. Using a tooth pick make an indentation to make it heart shape. Repeat on all four sides.
  3. Add the “stick” and stick to the pig.

Place on a small piece of card and wrap in cellophane with a bow. Try and make it air tight. Marizpan can dry out and you want to keep them as moist as possible.

This makes a lovely New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day activity for older kids (I suspect it would be a little unhygenic with younger ones, but they could eat their own piggies). Would you make this one of your New Year’s Eve Traditions?!

Happy New Year’s Eve from Germany!!!!

Want MORE New Year’s Eve Traditions? Take a look at:

New Year's Eve Traditions from around the wrold