https://www.duolingo.com/Zzzzz...

Predicting the future

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In Finland, molybdomancy is an important New Year's Eve tradition. Tin is melted and poured into cold water. The shape of the cooled tin is used to predict the coming year. Bubbly surface is seen as a sign of money and fragile or broken shape predicts misfortune. Some people place the tin next to a light and interpret the shadow formed on the wall.

I would like to find out whether molybdomancy is a tradition only in Finland or is divination of this type common elsewhere as well. I am also eager to learn about New Year's traditions of the world. So, please, comment below.

Thank you for making Duolingo a great place! :)

2 years ago

24 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/soedori
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Moulds into the Duolingo Finnish course

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MelleCatherine

It's a New Year's tradition in Germany as well and really fun to do!

I didn't know it had a "scientific" name though: I've always called it "Bleigießen" ("leadpouring" in German).

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zzzzz...
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Thank you! You use lead then in Germany, eh? Or is tin used as well? :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/MelleCatherine

I believe it to be tin nowadays because lead is quite toxic, isn't it?

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
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I participated in this at a New Year's party a year ago in Austria... we were using the "shadow interpretation" variant. I'm not sure what the metal was, but definitely not lead -- far too light. We were melting it over candles, which took forever. I think we'll use the gas stove (or maybe the Feuerzangenbowle) this time :). Unfortunately I have no recollection as to what was predicted for me, so I can't assess whether it was accurate.

Thanks for posting this discussion -- I'd completely forgotten to buy the requisite molybdomancy supplies for this weekend's celebrations.

dqxxmvyvoedn

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Buruboro
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In Australia, there is an annual New Year's Eve fireworks display held in Sydney, it is one of the biggest firework displays in the world and millions come to see it. This year's show also had tributes to Prince and David Bowie. :-)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
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wow

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/NikkiMorali

I think I read somewhere that they do the same thing in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, but I'm not completely sure..

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
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In southern region of the U.S.A, on New Year's day you're supposed to eat black-eyed peas, collard greens and cornbread for good luck and financial prosperity in the new year. I googled for more information ;) and found this quote "Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.”

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/airelibre
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Oh wow, black-eyed peas are a real thing, not just a band name! You learn something new every day.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SilverCharacter
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They're amazing with ketchup and bacon. My family has always had them with ham and sometimes collard greens as New Year's dinner since I can remember. Mmm...

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-oizys-

In Italy, at the New Year's Eve dinner, we eat lenticchie (lentils) to bring money and cotechino (a pig dish) to bring abundance or luck.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jolynnedougherty
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In Pittsburgh (the northeastern region of the US), we have a lot of Germanic (?) traditions to bring good luck for the New Year. We eat pork and cabbage, usually sauerkraut, and eat a large frosted pretzel-shaped pastry for breakfast.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot
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The USA traditions vary from house to house, region to region. Usually in my experience it involves gathering in front of the TV, eating and drinking, and talking about resolutions (what you're doing differently or better in the new year). I haven't really known anyone who celebrates new year's seriously so I'm not really an expert in the topic, however I have also heard in some traditions (both in the USA and elsewhere), there is a food-eating competition when the clocks go off (of something like olives or grapes or the like) and if you eat a certain amount (usually 12 or the most of the group) you're supposed to have a lucky new year. Some couples will also kiss right when the bell chimes so their year will be lucky but I'm not sure if that's mostly a USA thing.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
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I think kissing is a couples thing

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/-oizys-

In Italy, we have a holiday on January 6th, called "Epifania" (epiphany). I suppose many other countries of catholic tradition celebrate it, actually, but on this day we have a tradition of our own: an old lady, called Befana, somewhat similar to an old witch in the looks, travels on her broom at night to bring gifts to all children who would leave stockings around the house waiting to be filled. Traditionally she would bring oranges, walnuts and the like; as society evolved, these became chocolate and candy, and nowadays every store sells pre-filled stockings with candy already in it.

How does this answer your question? Well, in some areas of Italy, particularly the north east, on the evening of the same day, it's tradition to "brusare a vecia", venetian for "bruciare la vecchia", burn the old lady. The lady represents the old year which just passed, so we burn it to focus on the new year ahead of us. Depending on where the smoke heads when you burn the Befana, you can predict if the year will be good or bad.

You can read more about it here, and happy new year :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/jgibson62ma
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You can see this done with candle wax instead of tin in this old Soviet movie: https://youtu.be/7azlW6QxjJc?t=2m1s

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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Wikipedia is good for this sort of question: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molybdomancy.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zzzzz...
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Yes, but it is nowhere near as much fun as Duolingo! And googling for New Year's traditions is even more boring. I thought this would make a nice change for all the posts about clubs. Happy New Year, Hugh! :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DeanG6
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That's right. With Google, you don't need to ask people anything anymore. I agree it's more fun to have a discussion about it. But the article he linked to is interesting. It gives the history of Molybdomancy and it lists the countries in which it is used

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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I don't understand. Who's talking about googling for anything? You're answer makes it look like I'd criticised your post, but I didn't. You asked a question, I knew where to find the answer, so I posted it.

I hope the link was interesting to you, and I hope a lot of other people see your question, find it interesting, and find the Wikipedia page about Molybdomancy interesting too. I hope that they go on to read a hundred other fascinating Wikipedia articles, find out a hundred things they didn't even realise they didn't know, and discover the joy of getting lost in a full-on wiki-binge :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Zzzzz...
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Oh, I am so sorry Hugh. I guess my answer was a bit tart. I read the article not just in English but also in other languages. So thank you. I was just hoping for people to talk about their own experiences rather than just read an article. I realise that I should have been more diplomatic. :)

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hughcparker
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:) No worries.

2 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/HaniMica
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Hey, we have the same tradition in Czech Republic, too! :) Only we usually use lead instead of tin. :)

2 months ago
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