Happy New Year! Guten Rusch ins Neue Jahr! As it’s New Year’s Eve, I thought I’d share an Austria New Year’s (or, Silvester) custom. I was introduced to this tradition last year by one of my English classes (thanks guys!). 

Step by step guide to Bleigießen (lead melting)

image

Step 1: Gather your ingredients. You’ll need: 

-lead charm

-candle

-spoon that you don’t mind ruining

-cup or bowl of water (for cooling off the lead)

In the photo you’ll see that I had an variety of lead charms to choose from. I believe there are two different types of bottles and a four-leaf clover. 

image

Step 2: Place the charm in the spoon and melt it over the candle flame. 

This can take a while, but you want the lead to melt completely. Notice I chose the four-leaf clover.

image

Step 3Drop melted lead into the water.

Wait until the charm is completely melted, not just partially! The lead will become solid again once it hits the water.

image

image

Step 4: Your lead should now be a new shape! Use this new shape to help you predict what the new year will bring. It’s kind of like deciphering a cloud’s shape; you have to REALLY use your imagination, as the new shape will most likely resemble an alien or some food that’s been rotting in the back of your fridge for a bit too long. A few examples of what your lead shape could mean are:

  • Ball- luck will roll your way
  • Fish – luck (This is what I decided mine was. Do you agree?)
  • Ring – wedding
  • Ladder – promotion
  • Glasses – wisdom

These are just a few examples. Here’s a longer list, but it’s all in German. Fun tradition, huh? Unfortunately, I have no idea where to buy lead charms in the U.S., but if anyone finds out please let me know!

Another great Austrian tradition is watching Dinner for One. I had never seen this before last year, but it’s pretty good. Check it out!

I recently returned from a two-week-long East Coast trip! My boyfriend and I visited five cities: D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston and NYC. While it was fun and informative, it was also definitely exhausting. I guess cities are not exactly the best places to relax! Not to mention, it was cold and rainy much of the time. Most likely not in any of these pictures though, since apparently I didn’t get my camera out when the weather was bad. Anyway, here’s a preview from that trip:

image

Obligatory tourist photo in D.C. 

image

Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were adopted. 

image

Boston Common with a view of the capitol building, the Massachusetts State House, in the background. 

image

Graffiti art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.