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Finnish tin melting open house Sunday, Jan. 6 from 1-4 p.m.
Jan. 4, 2019

By Jennifer Von Ohlen
Staff Writer

COKATO, MN – As 2018 came to a close, many people were likely wondering what is in store for the new year.

Well, they won’t have to wonder about that much longer as the Cokato Historical Society and Cokato Museum will host their 19th annual tin melting open house this weekend to “predict” what one can expect in 2019.

The event is free, and will take place in the Centennial Room, located within the Cokato Great River Regional Public Library (and Cokato Museum) building Sunday, Jan. 6 from 1-4 p.m.

Tin melting is a lighthearted Finnish tradition often used to welcome the new year.

The way it works is a small piece of high-grade tin is melted within a cast-iron ladle over a stove. The person looking to have his/her future told then takes hold of the ladle, and quickly pours the tin into a bucket of ice water.

As the hot tin hits the water it immediately takes on a new shape and unique characteristics, which are then interpreted by Sara Keskey-Rufer and Susie Keskey to foreshadow the year ahead.

Some of the characteristics that have previously appeared include fuzziness (wealth in the form of money, family, or friends), shininess (joy), and broken/detached pieces (giving something away of value, such as an heirloom or advice).

Keskey-Rufer has also been sure to provide “healthcare” for each attendee by removing any discolored spots that appear in the melted tin.

She has explained that, traditionally, these patches would mean sickness or ill-will would befall the person whose metal is in the ladle.

After guests have their metal interpreted, they can stop by Keskey’s table to view the unique shadows their metal creates, and learn of those interpretations, too.

Keskey has shared that its not uncommon for couples’ tins to take on similar shapes/characteristics.

She has also stated that the predictions are meant to entertain, and not be taken seriously – although guests have come back to tell her their predictions came true.

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