My last question to the Sweep would strike most North Americans as odd but I had to ask: May I touch your sleeve? The Sweep smiled and nodded. I touched his sleeve, made a wish and if tradition was to be believed luck was now on my side and my wish would be fulfilled.
The idea that chimney sweeps are the agents of good fortune is an old believe in Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Croatia. The sweeps still wear the traditional black coat with silvery buttons, black trousers, and top hat and the superstition holds that it is good luck to touch them, wiping a fingertip across their sooty sleeves, or, if only seeing them from a distance, to touch a button on your person and make a wish. There is one suggestion that the ritual when you see a chimney sweep is to grab another person's button and wait until you see someone wearing glasses, than make a wish. Sounds like a modernization and just a little too complicated .
|For the past 15 years our little straw Sweep has been at the foot of our tree or perched on the buffet or |
mantel. Every New Year's Eve we touch his sleeve and make a wish for good luck in the coming year.
January 1 - 1600: Scotland begins its numbered year on January 1 instead of March 25.