From left to right: Lucky Dips, paper fortune teller, and a wheel of fortune. The drinking horn is purely decoration.

There are two main schools of thought regarding the proper observance of New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. One school of thought dictates you actively try to bring good luck into your life for the coming year by either wearing the right sort of clothing, eating specific foods, or performing certain actions, often as the clock is chiming midnight on December 31st. A second school of thought involves practicing some traditional divinatory method in order to learn what the coming year holds for you. Indeed, there are probably a lot of people who do both, but it is New Year’s Eve divination methods I’m going to address here.


The first method I’m going to mention is one I’ve covered before—cookie divination, or glucksgriefe, as it was known in its now-defunct country of origin, Prussia. I would direct you to the cookie divination lesson in the Simpleomancy section of this blog, but briefly, it’s a set of sugar cookies in a variety of shapes which are arranged on a platter, then covered with a kitchen towel. All participants take turns reaching under the towel and grabbing a cookie. The particular shape of the cookie they grabbed said something about their fortune for the coming year. Hence the name for this New Year’s Eve divination game, glucksgriefe, which translates into English as ‘Lucky Grabs.’

The YouTube channel-holder who goes by the name ‘You Suck at Cooking’ recently did a funny video on the great creative possibilities inherent in sugar-cookie dough, and I encourage you to have a look at it to get some inspiration. For those interested, it’s episode 120: (not quite) Christmas Cookies. As you’ll see from the video, coming up with a variety of cookie-shapes for this divination method does not require great artistic talent, just a little imagination.