NYE traditions in Germany aren’t exactly what I was used to in the States, aside from fireworks and fizzy wine. So since I’m home for the holidays for the first time since 2013, I decided to bring a bit of Germany back to Pennsylvania. I packed my suitcase with various holiday baked goods (Lebkuchen, Stollen, Marzipan Kartoffeln), as well a festively green bottle of cucumber liqueur from Spreewald (not bad!) and some Bleigießen Kits for New Year’s Eve.
What’s a Bleigießen Kit?
This is something that a German partner introduced me to when I spent NYE with him and his hometown buddies a few years ago. Up until then, I was oblivious to this tradition. Little silver-colored pieces are melted in a spoon over a tiny flame and poured into cold water. The resulting shape predicts something about the coming year. Every kit conveniently has a key on the back of it to help you interpret your fortune-telling blob. But if you accidentally threw it away, you can also easily google the results.
Now Bleigießen literally means “lead pouring” and as we all now know, lead is a no-no! Oddly enough, this practice was only banned in 2018. Since then, kits include wax or tin.
So if you’re looking for something silly and fun to try this year, grab a kit or two and melt some wax with friends. You find them pretty much everywhere. You can also check out this nifty list of German traditions from Deutsche Welle for more ideas. Fireworks are also on sale again after a 2-year ban for pandemic reasons.
Though I personally prefer handling a Bleigießen kit rather than small explosives… especially after a flaming Feuerzangenbowle!
Enjoy the rest of 2022 and have a “good slide” into 2023!
Here are two helpful blogs to start you off right:
German bureaucratic changes in 2023