Now that 2016 is here (YAY!), the holiday season is officially over (BOO!). Although this was my second time spending Christmas and New Year’s in Germany, I was still able to experience a few traditions that I missed out on the first time around.
Just like New Year’s Eve 2013, our final evening of 2015 started with Raclette and a bottle of Prosecco.
Beginning on December 29th, just about every store in Germany sells fireworks for Silvester (New Year’s Eve). Being from Illinois, it still shocks me to see everything that is legal to buy here (even if it is only allowed to be sold for 3 days per year).
When buying fireworks, the German fiancé told me he also wanted to do Bleigießen with me. I had no idea what he was talking about, but we bought a little set anyways.
Bleigießen technically translates to “lead pouring.” However, upon looking it up on Wikipedia, I found that it is actually known as Molybdomancy in English, which is a “technique of divination using molten metal.”
Our Bleigießen set had 6 lead figures, so Marco and I each used 3 to make our shapes.
I started by melting the 3 lead pieces in a spoon over a candle flame.
Once the lead is completely melted, I quickly poured the metal into a jar of water.
The person that poured the metal then has to interpret the resulting shape. This interpretation then serves as a prediction for the new year. What do you think my lead figure looks like?
I saw a sword, which (according to www.bleigiessen.de) means “perseverance is necessary” (Schwert= Durchhaltevermögen ist nötig).
Next, it was Marco’s turn.
Here is his resulting figure. What do you think it looks like?
I claimed it was a feather, but Marco said he saw a whale. Well, (at least according to www.bleigiessen.de) Marco needs to go on a diet (Wal = Diät machen). If he had picked feather, like I said, his divination would have been to “remain steadfast” (Feder = Standhaft bleiben).
Both of our predictions were pretty lame and general, basically like reading a horoscope. I think the action of pouring the metal and interpreting the shape is way more fun than actually finding out what it supposedly means.
Shortly before midnight, Marco and I headed outside with arms full of fireworks. There were already several groups in the street, shooting off fireworks in every direction. After setting ours off, we danced around in the street for a while, enjoying the sounds of explosions and ambulance sirens.
Afterwards, we went back inside to shoot some bottle rockets off of our 3rd floor balcony. The first few went great!
Then Marco accidentally shot one off horizontally, and it exploded directly in front of a window on the neighboring building. Oops. We took that as our sign to go back inside and call it a night.
Happy New Year’s!