Are Chimney Sweeps Lucky?
When you were a kid you may have spent some time looking for the elusive four-leafed clover to bring good luck and fortune. …but did you know in some cultures just hearing the song of a chimney sweep is enough to bring blessings on your household?
Around the world, different cultures have seen the chimney sweep as a bringer of good luck. From Europe to Asia, the humble sweep carries with him opportunities for an improved life. But is there anything to these tales or is it all just a bunch of hot air? Let’s take a look at some of those stories and see if the expert work from our sweeps at Lord’s Chimney is just because they are amazingly skilled professionals, or if they are carrying a bit of luck with them as they serve your chimney needs.
England: Marital Bliss & Royal Declarations
Many of the most famous and prominent folklore surrounding the chimney sweep comes from the United Kingdom. This is likely because London was becoming a world center of culture and diversity as the need for chimney sweeps was becoming an important part of culture. Stories of the chimney sweep bringing good luck are common in nursery rhymes, poetry, and art.
The Bride & Sweep
As one such story goes, a chimney sweep was working high upon a rooftop when he slipped and fell. His boot caught the gutter and saved him from falling. A female resident in the house he was working on heard the commotion and ran to the window where she spotted the poor chimney sweep hanging upside down. The woman pulled him inside and, as she was rescuing him, she couldn’t help but fall in love.
The woman was engaged at the time, but quickly called off the arrangement when she realized that her heart belonged to the chimney sweep. They fell in love, got married, and lived happily ever after.
Now, it is considered lucky to encounter a chimney sweep on your wedding day. Some couples even invite a chimney sweep to their wedding ceremony where the groom actually pays him to give a kiss to the bride. Don’t worry if you missed out on having a sweep at your wedding though. It’s considered a positive omen to have a chimney sweep visit your home on your anniversary, as well.
The Royal Rescue
Another story from England involves a king, his horses, a dog, and one heroic chimney sweep. As the story goes, King George III was riding through town in his carriage when his team of horses were spooked by a barking dog. Just as things were looking like they were going to get out of control, a chimney sweep jumped in to separate the horses from the dog and calm them quickly enough to avoid disaster.
The king was so relieved that he declared the chimney sweep a beacon of fortune and good luck – a connotation that follows them to this day.
Though these stories began in England they have made their way throughout Europe and have become common in folklore throughout the entire continent.
Austria: Heroic Observations
In Vienna, popular folklore contains a story of a chimney sweep who was hired to clean out the shaft for the tiled stove in the palace of Schönbrunn. While working in the stovepipe he overheard a secret plot to assassinate the emperor. The sweep informed the emperor and saved his life – and avoided a historical shift in power for the nation.
To this day, chimney sweeps in Austria wear the traditional all black uniform with a white cap. On the Viennese seal is the year 1447 because the first written reference to chimney sweeps in Vienna came from a document written that year. It is believed in Austria that shaking the hand of a chimney sweep will bring you good luck, good fortune, and protection for your home.
Germany: A Button Rub for Luck
In Germany, rubbing a chimney sweep’s coat button on New Year’s day is believed to bring blessings on a household for the year. Historically, the chimney sweep, or schornsteinfeger, would go from home to home and collect his earnings on the first day of the year. For the sweep, this day was lucky and, as the first one to wish blessings to each house, he became known as the bringer of good luck.
Today, it isn’t uncommon on New Year’s day for a townsperson, as a gesture of goodwill, to visit homes carrying a jar of brass buttons with him for people to rub for luck.
Italy: A Sweeping Witch & Good Gifts
The story of La Befana in Italy is a tradition around epiphany where a good witch, who bears a broom is looking for baby Jesus, visits a home and brings with her gifts. With similar tones to the lore surrounding Santa Claus, this Italian witch comes down the chimney with her broom and brings gifts to good boys and girls. The story tells of the three wise men seeking Jesus asking La Befana for help.
The lore surrounding chimney sweeps is thick and has made its way around the world. For centuries stories of good luck and fortune have been applied to them. Even in the United States it is considered good luck to come into contact with a chimney sweep.
Houston, TX: Lord’s Chimney Sweeps
Here in Houston, Beaumont, and all of the surrounding areas, the Lord’s Chimney technicians will not only bring with them good luck… we also bring the most skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced team with us to make sure that your chimney is safe for use and working efficiently. Though, after we’ve left, we won’t blame you for thinking you’ve been bestowed with good luck.
Ready to Book Your Spot?
Call us today to find out how we can bless your home. Dial 832-280-9964 or reach out to us online now.