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A chimney Sweep brings the gift of good luck, wealth and happiness. In Germany a gift of a chimney sweep ornament or candy is given around New Year’s Day for good luck in the upcoming year.
In Great Britain it is a sign of good fortune and a happy marriage for a bride to see a sweep on her wedding day and even better to shake his hand. Today sweeps are hired to attend weddings.
One of the origins of the legend dates to the 1700’s. King George II was riding in a procession when his horse, frightened by a wild dog, began bucking and the King lost control of the reins. A sweep came forward and calmed the horse, thus potentially saving the King’s life. The Kings is said to have declared that sweeps should be regarded as lucky from that day forward.
As a symbol of hearth and home the chimney sweep may also hearken back to the earlier hearth gods and the spreading of the Yule log ashes for