Why Chimney Sweeps Are Lucky
Chimney Sweeps are thought to be the bearers of luck, especially at weddings & for newlyweds. Why you ask? Let us share some stories as to how this thought came to be!
The thought that Chimney Sweeps are lucky is a very interesting thought, and the reasons as to why vary. Let’s start with King George and the Dog:
King George And The Dog
This is a legend that dates back to the 1700’s, and it involves King George II. Evidently, in this legend, King George was in a procession, riding his horse, when an angry, snarling dog appeared before him, scaring his horse. When he lost control of the horse’s halter, King George II was aided by a Chimney Sweep, who then managed to quell the animal, and save the King from falling. Due to this kind, and somewhat heroic act, King George III declared all Chimney Sweeps to be lucky, and then the tradition carried throughout all of Europe.
King William And His Carriage
Earlier, then that, another King was chanced upon by a lucky Chimney Sweep! King William of Britain, in the year of 1066 was said to have been rescued by a Chimney Sweep who pushed him out of the way of a runaway carriage. Having believed that the sweep brought him luck, the King then expressed gratitude by inviting the Sweep to his Daughter’s wedding. This then led the King to declare Sweeps to be good in luck, and allowed them to wear top hats. During this period, top hats were generally reserved to be only for the ‘distinguished’. After this, the presence of a chimney sweep at a weeding, has always been seen as a sign of good luck.
The Falling Chimney Sweep
This legend is more of an amusing tale! It involves a seemingly unfortunate Chimney Sweep that slipped while working atop of a roof, who then fell. The young man was lucky, and spared, but in a quite curious way. While he was stuck on the gutter, a young patron saw him from her window, and helped pull the Chimney Sweep inside to safety. Throughout this, she had been engaged to someone else, the woman couldn’t help herself from falling in love with the Chimney Sweep. The man, being equally infatuated with the lady, instantly fell in love. The two eventually married one another, and I guess you could say, that the young lady, “swept him off of his feet”.
Regardless of the story you choose to believe, each comes with the notions that not only should chimney sweeps come to your wedding, but simply seeing one, shaking his hand or receiving a kiss from him on your wedding day will bring luck to your new marriage. Inviting chimney sweeps to weddings in places like Great Britain or Germany is still popular today, and some sweeps welcome invitations by renting themselves out as wedding guests. Still more, several chimney sweeps will announce their arrival at the reception, sometimes entering to music! What do you think? Are Chimney Sweeps really lucky?
In some European countries chimney sweeps used to go from door to door on New Year’s Day to wish people good luck, and no doubt to remind them to have their chimney’s swept. It is good luck yet today if a chimney sweep rubs some soot on your forehead on New Year’s Day.