Photo Gallery: German students participate in New Year’s tradition

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • Bleigiessen, translated to “lead pouring” in English, is a New Year’s tradition that many European countries, including Germany, celebrate, in which friends and family gather to pour molten lead into cold water to form a shape that is said to predict one's future. Kim Hotze, German teacher, shared the tradition with students and staff during Flex Time and select classes, using hot wax instead of lead. “It’s fun to do something new,” Hotze said. “I’m always doing crazy things.”

  • A row of cups filled with cold water sit next to a tray of warm wax. Students took a ladle of hot wax out of the tray and then poured it into the cups, incorporating the change in temperature and the speed of the pour to make a shape. After they removed the wax from the cup, they returned to their seats and used a packet filled with German words to decide what shape their wax formed.

  • A list of German words and their English translations were provided to the students. Many students guessed what their shape was before determining if there was a German translation.

  • A pretzel tray was available for teachers, who were also invited to participate in the activity. Hotze said many teachers were hesitant to spend time trying bleigiessen, but once word of mouth spread that the activity was fun more faculty participated. “I think next year I’ll have more faculty coming down,” Hotze said. “They really loved the idea. The adults got to have fun and be a kid again.”

  • Freshmen Olivia Riggio and Madison Horner decide what shape their wax formed using a list of German words. They were unsure which shape to choose. “Mine looks like Jesus in the manger,” Riggio said. “But I don’t think that really tells me anything about my future. Or from the side it looks like a dragon or a unicorn maybe.”

  • Riggio rotates the wax while Horner writes down observations. The two appreciated trying bleigiessen and said German courses were more enjoyable compared to more popular Spanish courses because of smaller class sizes, field trips and cultural activities. “I think German is better,” Horner said. “I think less people do German, but it’s fun.”

  • Sophomores Leah Toth and Emily Bardol inspect Toth’s wax. Toth saw an elephant in her wax. “Maybe it means good luck,” Toth said. “I saw ears and a horn. It was fun to look at it.”

  • Will Fischer, freshman, displays his wax creation. Fischer thought his wax looked like a shark. “[Trying bleigiessen] makes it more exciting,” Fischer said. “That’s more enjoyable than other classes.”

  • Hotze announces a student will be cured from “sickness” because their wax looked like a cow. The students took turns sharing their wax shapes and translating them to German, and then listened to their fortunes.

  • Hotze assists Connor Schall, freshman, in using a flashlight to make out a shape. They decided the shadow looked like a hedgehog, which symbolized being enviable. “What I noticed was some shapes were like, ‘Wow!’” Hotze said. “You could see it. But some you really had to do a lot of interpreting.”

Navigate Left
Navigate Right