A fun New Year’s Eve Tradition in Germany for families try to divine their fortune for the New Year is Bleigiessen, Lead Pouring. This ancient form of divination, also known as Molybdomancy, has been used for 1000s of years in many cultures. Now it’s mostly just for fun, although… there may be something to it….
Originally, a small bit of lead or tin was melted, and then dropped in water. The form created by the metal is examined to determine the future. Some forms need you to be very open minded. Then, your fortune for the year is set. For instance, if the lead forms a ball (der Ball), it means luck will roll your way. The shape of an anchor (der Anker) means help is coming when you need it. But a cross (das Kreuz) can mean death.
Today, kits are sold to make it easier…since most people don’t have bits of lead lying around. In the kit comes a spoon, some lead (often formed into celebratory shapes) a chart to help interpret the shapes, and a poem. Some people even try using wax instead.