Happy Happy New Year!
New Year's Day is every man's birthday. ~Charles Lamb
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this: To rise above the little things. ~John Burroughs
German Folklore: A chimney Sweep means good luck!
In Germany, Austria, Hungary, and other regions, the chimney sweep is considered an omen of good luck if you meet with him on New Year's Day.Many older Central and Eastern European New Year's Eve/Day postcards feature a chimney sweep, most of the time a blond child, could be seen frolicking in the snow, or tracking through the snow tossing out lucky talismans such as four leaf clovers, red and white Amanita Muscaria Mushrooms aka gluckpilz (lucky Mushroom in German), these mushrooms were used by ancient Shamanic's as a hallucinogen.
In Germany, New years was not celebrated until the 17th century, so this folklore would have taken place on Christmas/St.Nicholas Day. Gifts would have been given out on New Year's Day to people who delivered goods such as baked treats, breads, etc., or to individuals who completed household chores. Small cards were often handed out with a blessing of good wishes as a token of thank you and good lick for the service.
If you met a chimney sweep (Schornsteinfeger or Schlotfeger) at New Year's meant good luck for the whole year, especially if the chimney sweep gave you his card. Today with Chimney Sweep professions being more rare, one can find chimney sweeps in the form of dolls, small figurines, charms, candy molds, postcards, Good Luck Chocolate labels and Ephemera.
There are some forms of ephemera which show chimney sweeps giving people: money bags, riding in toboggans with lucky pigs, handing out four leaf clovers, mushrooms and other forms of lucky symbols.
I learned of this tradition this past New Year's Eve at the Store, a Customer came in around 3pm, she was from Germany and spotted a doll in my cabinet, she brought him over to me and told me he was a German Chimney Sweep Doll, which was valuable and in wonderful condition, she then informed me of the history of the doll and his German history, then placed him near my register and said he will bring you good luck for the coming year. How fitting to discover him after all this time on New Year's Day.
Magic and Joy,