I think that there is a real similarity between how the Germans and that Japanese operate. Both counties are known for their strict adherence to the rules, and a general cool demeanor. However, throw in a holiday, and all bets are off. Germans do not mess around with new years. We got off the tram at about 11:30, and watched as hordes of drunks descended upon the domplatz, or the cathedral square. Each group had somewhere between an arm full and a shopping cart full of fireworks.
For the next 2.5 hours it was like daylight.