Lead pouring

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Lead pouring
Type: game of luck
Number of players: any number, usually 2 to 10
Location: on a table
Equipment: candle, spoon, lead, bowl of water
Duration: several minutes
Preparation: none

Lead pouring or Molybdomancy is an activity often played at New Year's Eve parties in northern and central Europe. The symbols created are said to tell the fortune of the new year.


  • candle (or some other small flame)
  • spoon, lead to pour (often available as set); not, that in fact tin is used due to unhealthy of lead
  • large bowl of water


The players put one piece of lead on their spoon and melt it using the flame. Once the lead is liquid, they quickly pour it into the bowl of water. The lead solidify, resulting in a symbol. All participants now try to identify the symbol; this can then be used to tell the fortune.

Similar games

Several alternative games use the same basic principle, but another material to melt and pour, that are less dangerous.