It takes a gifted artist to become a great teacher and those who dare to teach never cease to learn.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017!




I'm re-posting my blog from many years ago as I wish all our readers Happy New Year 2017!


Since 1753 the Gregorian calendar has been in use in Finland and January 1st has been the first day of the year. Traditionally the night proceeding the first day of the year has been the time for magical tricks with the intention to open the door to the future.

Casting of tin is one of the most popular magical tricks in Finland on New Year's Eve. Everyone gets a small piece of tin (Sn) in the shape of a miniature horseshoe, which is a traditional symbol of good luck. The horseshoe is melted and the liquid metal poured quickly into a bucket of cold water, where it quickly solidifies in fantastic shapes.
The shape and shadow of the resulting cast is examined and interpreted to predict the various future events of the coming year. Different shapes have different meaning, promising good luck or health, wealth, happiness, sorrow, sickness etc. If the cast breaks down to pieces, it is a sign of "bad luck".
This tradition originates in ancient Greece. These Magical Tricks were later spread to Central Europe and today probably only used in Finland. Instead of tin also beeswax and lead (Pb) were used.


(my tin casting from the New Year's Eve prior to a BIG numbered birthday: sometimes the shape is obvious without a shadow interpretation)  

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