New Year celebration in Finland

New Year celebration in Finland

Soon it will be again time to say goodbye to the ongoing year by celebrating New Year's Eve (in Finnish Uudenvuodenaatto).

In Finland we celebrate this in many ways, which most are the same as around the world; fireworks, eating well, having a party etc. But Finland has a quite unique tradition which dates from the early 19th century which is the casting of tin.

The casting is usually done during the New Year's Eve before midnight. We use a small scoop made out of metal and place it on electric stove. Then we place the horseshoe shaped tin in the scoop and let it melt. After it has melted, the scoop is emptied quickly in to a bucket filled with water. The secret is that the pouring should be done quickly so it will become a single piece of tin. If the melted metal is not poured continuously it will create several different pieces and that, by old tradition, means bad luck. The metal cools instantly when in the cold water and forms different kind of shapes.

When everyone has casted their tins, it is time to read the New Year's fortune from the shapes and forms of these little tin statues. If the tin has lot of rough surface, the caster will get lots of money. Instead if the tin has lots of shiny and even surfaces, the caster will have peace and good fortune. The different forms of the tin tells many stories; horse or ship shape means travelling, ring wedding, broken ring divorce, star good fortune. The shape of the tin can be interpreted as seen or by the shadow it creates on the wall.

Maybe this little tradition is something you might want to try when celebrating on new years eve?