1. Home
  2. German
  3. Holidays
  4. and
  5. Festivals
  6. Bleigiessen- A New Year’s Tradition in Germany
Bleigiessen- A New Year’s Tradition in Germany

Bleigiessen- A New Year’s Tradition in Germany


New Years Traditions Germany- Bleigiessen
All photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons

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.

How does Bleigiessen Work?

A candle is lit, and placed on the table. A bowl of water is also placed on the table. The chunks of lead are put in the bowl of the spoon, which is then held over the candle. The lead has a low melting point, so it melts fairly quickly. Then the lead gets poured into the water.

There seems to be a trick to this. Holding your spoon close to the water before dumping the lead gives it more of a shape. (I don’t know what the fortune gods think about taking multiple turns to get a preferred shape… so you may have to remember what others did in the years before to get what you want).

To better see the shape, allow the light to cast it’s shadow on the wall. The chart for interpreting shapes is below.

Today, because playing with lead is considered dangerous for children, many families use wax. Perhaps cut off a bit of a red candle for fortune-telling?

See Bleigiessen in Action-


This poem is often recited before casting your lead figure:bleigiessen New Year's Traditions Germany

In der Silvester-Nacht
wird das Blei zum Schmelzen gebracht.
Es wird gekippt in Wasser, kalt und klar;
rate, was stellen die Figuren dar?
Schau sie an, so wie sie sind;
rätst die Gestalt du nicht geschwind.
Halt sie hinters Licht,
das Schattenbild dir mehr verspricht.
Kommt es dir nicht in den Sinn,
schau auf dieses Büchlein hin.
Es sagt dir frank und frei,
so allerlei…!

Purchase Your Own Bleigiessen Kit Here-

 (note…  Bleigiessen Kits are harder to come by because of the Lead content. An alternative is to buy Lead Nuggets, and a Lead Ladle.)

You can also use Wax or Tin, but the kit is the easiest



lead pouring set

Order a Lead Pouring Set from German Shop 24


1 to 30 Bullet alloy Nuggets ~ 5 lbs (97% Lead, 3% Tin)1 to 30 Bullet alloy Nuggets ~ 5 lbs (97% Lead, 3% Tin)Lee Precision Lead LadleLee Precision Lead Ladle

Also find interpretation Books…

Bleigießen: Eine alte mantische Kunst und ihre Symbole (German Edition)Bleigießen: Eine alte mantische Kunst und ihre Symbole (German Edition)Bleigießen: Eine alte mantische Kunst und ihre Symbole (German Edition)Blei & Kerzenwachs gießen: 150 Erklärungen (German Edition)Blei & Kerzenwachs gießen: 150 Erklärungen (German Edition)Blei & Kerzenwachs gießen: 150 Erklärungen (German Edition)



Bleigiessen New Years Traditions Germany

This looks like a bird…. so that means good luck is coming!

Interpret Your Lead Figures-

Figure Meaning
Acker (field) luck and happiness
ähren (grain head) your wishes will be fulfilled
Adler (eagle) profit in your job
Amboss (anvil) be careful with your job
Anker (anchor) you will receive help from others
Apfel (apple) your trust will be broken
Auto (car) promising venture or enterprise
Automat (vending machine) be careful with spending
Baum (tree) growth in your capabilities
Becher (mug) luck and health
Beil (axe) disappointment in love
Besen (broom) conflict or small argument
Beutel (bag) unexpected luck
Biene (bee) prospect of marriage
Blumen (flowers) new friendships will develop
Bock (ram) expect an inheritance
Bombe (bomb) you will escape danger
Boten mit Brief (messenger with letter) you will receive important news soon
Brille (glasses) you will live to be old
Brücke (bridge) you will form new ties
Brunnen (fountain) deep love for everyone
Burg (fortress) you wish for change
Chrysanthemen (Chrysanthemum) someone needs your help
Degen (sword) cutting change
Denkmal (monument) you overestimate yourself
Dolch (dagger) you will be victorious
Dreieck (triangle) finances improve
Ei (egg) your family will grow
Eidechse (lizard) big annoyance that goes away quickly
Eimer (pail) satisfaction with relationships
Eisenbahn (train) departure from a friend
Elefant (elephant) you have good powers of comprehension
Engel (angel) good will come to you
Erdwall (earthen dam) you will be successful only through trouble
Fahne, wehend (waving flag) your heart and thoughts are in different places
Falke (falcon) someone is jealous of you
Faust (fist) you feel that you have been pushed back
Feder (feather) change in your home
Felsen (cliffs) much work to come
Fische (fish) people are talking about you
Flakon (phial, small bottle) don’t let anyone “pull your leg”
Flasche (bottle) happy times to come
Flugzeug (airplane) good luck in open competition
Frosch (frog) you will eventually win much money in a lotterie
Gabel (fork) quarrels and arguments
Galgen (gallows) be wary of false friends
Garten (garden) new love in your path
Gebüsch (bush) acknowledge the accomplishments of others
Geweih (antlers) misfortune in love
Gewichte (scales) success in business
Gitarre (guitar) secret longings
Glocke (bell) inheritance coming into view
Gondel (gondola) an adventure is approaching
Hahn (rooster) be careful of fire
Haken (hook) obstacles will come into your path
Hammer (hammer) you will get your way
Hase (rabbit) hang onto your luck
Haus (house) your ventures will go well
Hose (pants) you will be ridiculed
Hufeisen (horseshoe) good business
Hut (hat) good news
Igel (hedgehog) people are envious of you
Insel (island) you are lonely
Kahn (boat) good luck in your intentions, plans
Käfer (beetle) nice experience in love
Kamel (camel) new duties
Kanne (jug) unpleasantness
Kanzel (pulpit) you like to be right
Kapelle (chapel) longing for peace and quiet
Karpfen (carp) unexpected raise in salary
Karussell (merry-go-round) dumb jokes from acquaintances
Kegel (ninepin) be careful in business
Kelch (chalice) your future will be happy
Kirche (church) you will start a household soon
Klee (clover) satisfaction and luck
Korb (basket) lucky in love
Kranz (wreath) reconciliation in your circle of friends
Krone (crown) you will use official position
Kuchen (cake) festivity is coming
Kugel (ball) don’t take your bad mood out on others
Kuh (cow) cure from sickness
Lanze (lance) someone wants to fight with you
Leiter (ladder) advancement in your job
Leiter, zerbrechen (broken ladder) make decisions faster
Leuchter (candlestick) you will “see the light” (understand, get an idea)
Leuchtturm (lamppost) don’t give up on your goals
Löffel (spoon) people are talking about you
Mauerr (wall) your perseverance will pay off
Mond (moon) you may expect honor
Nagel (nail) better times coming
Nest mit Eiern oder Vögeln (nest w/eggs or birds) a happy home will soon be started
Orgel (organ) you’ll play your way through life
Palme (palm tree) a long-cherished wish will be fulfilled
Pantoffel (slipper) you will get married soon
Peitsche (whip) you need a strong hand
Pistole (pistol) you will cheat in love
Pfeife (pipe) be careful—danger approaches
Pflug (plow) you must work harder at your job
Rad (wheel) big changes coming
Regenschirm (umbrella) be hopeful, and avoid unpleasantness
Säge (saw) a separation, which is advantageous, is coming
Säule (pillar) a wish will remain unfulfilled
Segelboot (sailboat) good advancement in your job
Sichel (sicle) don’t scorn the little joys of life
Schere (scissors) important decisions coming
Schaukel (swing) make up your mind
Schlange (snake) people are envious of your success
Schlitten (sled) make your relationships fit yourself
Schluessel (key) let others keep their secrets
Schornsteinfeger (chimney sweep) luck in love
Schraubstock (bench vice) hang on tight to what you have
Schwamm (sponge) clean your soul
Schwein (pig) luck in play, games
Schuh (shoe) you’ll have to do a lot of running around soon
Spinne (spider) your luck hangs on a silken thread
Storch (stork) you will travel
Stock (stick, staff) your life will turn around
Tänzerin (dancer) don’t take life so seriously
Tisch (table) soon you will be invited to a party
Teller (plate) you’ll have opportunity for generosity
Tor (gate) you’ll change your place of residence
Trauring (engagement ring) you’ll be engaged soon *OR*
warning of upcoming escapades
Treppen (steps) new assignments await you
Trompete (trumpet) you will soon gain public office
Trichter (funnel) protect your strength
Tunnel (tunnel) you will recover from a horrible fright
Turm (tower) have more courage in your ____ _______
Urne (urn) don’t grieve about the past
Vogel (bird) good luck coming
Wiege (cradle) you will take part in a baptism
Zaun (fence) you have to explain a misunderstanding
Zeppelin (zeppelin) gleaming advancement opportunities await you
Zylinder (top hat) serious matters ahead


Bleigiessen is fun for the whole Family!



  1. Great information. I did this in Berlin in 1983 and was so happy to find the info but don’t know how to get a kit before Sat but will order one now for next year . Daniel schon


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *