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)

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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