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: 

-lead charm


-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 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.



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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