Bleigiessen: The German Way of Predicting the New Year…


Germans love to predict what will happen in the coming year, so every New Year’s Eve people sit around a burning candle and melt a small amount of lead on a spoon – Bleigiessen or lead pouring. After the metal liquifies, it is poured into a bowl of cold water and immediately a shape is formed. How these shapes are interpreted will determine the future.

Throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland you can buy these lead-pouring kits. Sold with a wood-handled spoon to help melt them down, they include several little lead figures. Using a candle, each person holds the spoon over the flame to melt down a small amount of lead and then pours it into a container of water to produce a “frozen” shape. The Bleigiessen kit also comes with a little booklet where all the shapes are listed and what they possibly mean for your future. A bird for example means good luck. A tree means growth. Each shape is interpreted to predict that person’s fate for the coming year.

But since the use of lead is illegal since 2018 and the kits aren’t sold in stores anymore, our family replaced it with candle wax this year and made our own Wachsgiessen or wax pouring kit.

Not only is Wachsgiessen environmentally and health friendly but it also works just as well and with a little preparation it will delight both family and friends all Silvester long.


The making of the wax figures for melting is very easy. All you need is:

  • Wax (we used leftover candle ends)
  • A pot to boil water
  • A small container to melt the wax in (we used a mason jar but even an empty soup can would work)
  • A mold to make the figures (an ice cube tray or the plastic inside of an advent calendar work great)

And that’s how it’s done:

  1. Fill the small container to melt the wax in with candle chunks.
  2. Place container in water-filled pot and place on stove.
  3. Melt candle chunks in boiling water.
  4. Carefully pour melted wax into ice cube tray or advent calendar form. Hint: when using ice cube tray only fill each about half an inch.
  5. Let cool and carefully remove wax figures from its form.


For your New Year’s Eve wax pouring event you will need:

  • Candle
  • Spoon
  • Bowl with cold water
  • Tablecloth or old newspaper or napkin to cover the table
  • And of course your already made wax figures

And that’s how it’s done:

  1. Cover your surface with old newspaper to protect against wax residue and water stains (we used a thick paper napkin).
  1. Place water bowl close to candle.
  2. Place one of the wax figures on top of the spoon and hold over candle until completely melted.
  3. Once wax is liquid, pour it into bowl of cold water with one swift move. Hint: do not submerge spoon in water, otherwise the wax will harden on the spoon
  4. Once the poured form is completely cooled, take out of cold water and interpret it!

Have fun predicting the future and Happy New Year!

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