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)
Step 1: Gather your ingredients. You’ll need:
-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.
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.
Step 3: Drop 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.
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!