What does a chimney sweep have in common with a four leaf clover? They are both considered lucky.
Many cultures around the world hold the chimney sweep up as a luck-bearing gentlemen who brings with him fortune and prosperity. These superstitions carry with them folklore and traditions that are still regularly found in many places throughout Europe, the UK, and even parts of Asia.
So… is the chimney sweep really lucky or have people just been inhaling too much smoke from their chimneys? We at English Sweep have the best chimney sweeps around. Our expertise could easily be mistaken for luck, but our knowledge, experience, and care for our customers is 100% real. That being said, a little luck never hurt anyone.
While we don’t suggest taking our chimney sweeps with you to the casino or racing track, we do have to wonder how so many stories of good-luck and prosperity have lasted for almost as long as the profession itself. Perhaps there is something to them…
1. Life-Saving Stories
One of the most famous stories of chimney sweep luck comes from a popular tale told throughout England. In the early 1700’s King George III hopped in his carriage while his driver took him through the streets of London. At one point, a dog jumped out and scared the team of horses pulling the carriage. Before the horses were able to go crazy and lose control, a chimney sweep appeared and calmed them down.
So relieved and happy was King George that he declared chimney sweeps to be good fortune bearers. From that point on chimney sweeps were invited to community celebrations to provide luck for the city. To this day, you may see a chimney sweep dressed in his top hat and tails, leading a parade during a community festival.
2. Wedding Luck
Another famous story that has led to some interesting traditions comes from central Europe. A chimney sweep had been working high upon a rooftop when he suddenly slipped. Good luck was with him as his boot got caught in a gutter, which kept him from falling to his death. A female resident of the home he was working on heard the commotion and went to the window to see what was the matter. When she looked out the window she saw the poor chimney sweep hanging upside down.
She was overwhelmed with love for the man as she helped him down. She was engaged at the time, but she was so filled with love for the chimney sweep that she broke off her engagement. Soon after, the chimney sweep and the lady of the house were married. Of course, as you probably guessed, they lived happily ever after.
This particular story of love has turned itself into a tradition that has been around for a couple hundred years now. In fact, at many European weddings, a bride and groom may hire a chimney sweep to attend. The groom will often ask him to give a kiss to the bride. Upon kissing the bride, the groom will offer him payment for his gift of good luck.
3. Business Fortune
The chimney sweep is also noted for the good fortune they can bring to businesses. In the 1800’s fireplaces became a standard feature in homes, and with fireplaces came chimneys. …and with chimneys came the need for more chimney sweeps.
Let’s face it, the work of a chimney sweep at the time was dirty and dangerous. Because of their size and ability to navigate small spaces, children were often forced to do the hard work of cleaning chimneys. Running a chimney cleaning business could be quite lucrative as the work was done cheaply by children and the need for sweeps was high. A good chimney sweep at the time could make a pretty good living.
Other businesses saw the success of chimney sweeps and began recognizing them as bearing good fortune for company growth. Even today, you will find chimney sweeps, or actors pretending to be sweeps, at business parties throughout parts of Europe. Many people will have them attend their New Year’s parties for the same reason.
4. Fire & Life
Perhaps it’s their relationship to fire that encourages people to apply the good luck label to chimney sweeps. For millennia, humans have seen fire as a source of comfort, safety, and calm. It provides warmth, light, and relaxation. Maybe the reason the chimney sweep is really seen as lucky is because they make sure we can enjoy that fire from the comfort of our home by keeping the chimney clean and free of dangerous chemicals and debris.
Let Our Sweeps Bring You Luck
At English Sweep, our chimney sweeps ensure you get the best care possible. We’re good at making sure your chimney is kept clean, safe, and working well, so that you can enjoy the most comfortable thing in your home – your fireplace. Now is the time to get it swept and ready for next year, so you can enjoy your summer without having your chimney hanging over your head.
Call us today or book an appointment online to get your chimney cleaned up, fixed up, and ready.
Let us bring a little luck – and a lot of expertise – to your home soon.