Fortunes to Be Told, Fun to Be Had during Harmony's Silvester Celebration

By Kadilak, Karen | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 29, 2011 | Go to article overview
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Fortunes to Be Told, Fun to Be Had during Harmony's Silvester Celebration


Kadilak, Karen, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Fortune tellers use all sorts of methods to predict what's ahead: the constellations, tea leaves, cards, even the lines on the palm of your hand.

In Harmony Borough on Saturday, the prognostication medium will be lead.

At the fifth Silvester Celebration at Harmony Museum, Harmony, on Saturday, fortunes for the New Year will be read in molten lead, an old German custom.

The lead is held on a tablespoon and melted by holding a flame under it. The hot lead is poured into a bowl, and the shapes that result are interpreted to predict outcomes of the coming year.

If the lead forms a ball, it means that luck will roll the person's way. An anchor shape means they'll get help in time of need.

Beware a cross: It means death.

Harmony Museum shop manager Jo Annette Cynkar will oversee the fortune-telling, for which a fee of $1 is charged. After the lead is melted and dries, she puts them in clear plastic bags for participants to interpret later.

"When we started Silvester several years ago, we were looking for things that were really authentic to Germany," Cynkar said. "You can't get much more authentic than Bleigiessen ('lead dropping' in German). We have had people who are actually from Germany come and have their fortunes told."

Another event scheduled for Saturday designed to put an authentic German touch on the celebration is a showing of the 1963 German television production "Dinner for One.

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