Bleigießen – Lead Pouring

A New Year’s Tradition in the German-Speaking Countries

Bleigießen (Molybdomancy): Predicting the future

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Melting the tin for lead-pouring. PHOTO: Micha L. Rieser, Wikimedia Commons

The Lead-Pouring Custom
In Germany, Austria and Switzerland you can buy lead-pouring kits that contain small tin figures (safer than lead) and a wood-handled spoon for melting them down. Using a candle, each person holds the spoon over the flame to melt down a small amount of lead/tin and then pours it into a container of water to produce a “frozen” shape. Each shape is interpreted to predict that person’s fate for the coming year. Some people prefer to use wax rather than tin/lead, considering it safer. In any case, once in the water, the tin or wax forms a unique shape. Of course, the interpretation of the resulting shape can be open to debate. But (as shown in video 1 below) if you don’t like the shape you get, you can always try another one.

WEB > Molybdomancy – Wikipedia (in English)

View these videos of Bleigießen to learn more:

1. arte TV – A video showing several shape examples (in German, 2:57)

2. Rossmann – Silvester-Orakel (in German) Tips for using wax rather than lead or tin) plus party ideas

3. auf Deutsch – zu Hause (2:34)

4. with English captions (1:58)

5. Badesalz – A brief TV comedy sketch about one hazard of lead-pouring (in German, 1:36)

6. Wachsgießen statt Bleigießen zu Silvester – Using wax instead of lead is safer and protects the environment:

7. Bleigießen A very professional, short video from Luci Westphal:
German New Year’s Eve Tradition: Bleigiessen (Fortune Telling through Molybdomancy) – “In A Berlin Minute” (Week 139) – Vimeo.com

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