The "Lucky" Chimney Sweep, and New Year...

Posted By: Francine - German Culture

The "Lucky" Chimney Sweep, and New Year... - 01/01/19 05:17 PM

[Linked Image]

On New Year's Day in Germany just seeing a CHIMNEY SWEEP, "SCHORNSTEINFEGER", in his age old working outfit begins the year in the most promising way possible.

And of course if you are lucky enough to have your nose smudged with soot by a "real life" Schornsteinfeger on January 1, well that is your Good Luck for the year guaranteed. laugh

A "Good Luck Charm" that lasts the entire year, but why are they are lucky? Their story and history...
Posted By: Lestie4containergardens

Re: The "Lucky" Chimney Sweep, and New Year... - 02/12/19 11:51 AM

Hi Francine,

This was an interesting article - especially for me living here in the heat of Johannesburg ad South Africa sunshine where I am not sure how anyone cleans their chimneys because I need to find a house with one - not to say there aren't any, just that I don't know where they might be! Okay, take a breath. Anyway, I am sure such a service exists here - and who knows, maybe the lucky smudged noses are to be found somewhere in my neck of the woods.

You say
"A job for life, with a closed society, positions handed down from generation to generation with some families going back to the 18th century, and a "chimney sweep monopoly", means new openings are limited and protected."

Also interesting for several reasons - things don't change anywhere, people are people, staying in the 'family business' is a time-honoured practice everywhere.

Where does everybody get the wood to burn in winter? Sustainable forests? For green reasons, is there a large enough supply for future winter-wood? Electricity takes coal and coal is oh so precious, so just interested and asking, especially since many would also use electrical appliances to get and stay warm.

Anyway, send regards and all,
Posted By: Francine - German Culture

Re: The "Lucky" Chimney Sweep, and New Year... - 02/18/19 03:03 PM

Hi Leslie, yes most of the wood comes from sustainable forests. As you say, for green reasons...and there are seasoned logs, kiln-dried logs, free wood – so lying around and collected, but the most efficient, and becoming more popular every year, are briquettes. These are made from recycled wood or paper and are brilliant with a very high heat output.

These days German Chimney sweeps do far more than sweep chimneys though, as it says in the article their job has become very complicated indeed compared to what it used to be. The only thing that has stayed the same is their cute - love it. cool.
Posted By: Lestie4containergardens

Re: The "Lucky" Chimney Sweep, and New Year... - 02/18/19 06:02 PM

Hi here,

Every country has it daft politicians running around and here in South Africa we are up there with the best! Eskom is a corporation that has the monopoly in providing South Africa with electricity and is pretty reliant on coal in its endeavours.

They have misplaced some don't know how many millions/billions, the figure is too silly to contemplate (telephone numbers anyway), and now this country is struggling with rolling blackouts and what we call 'load-shedding'. The consequent cost to business is huge and depressing, but the band plays on.

I am so much more aware of how the globe is squandering natural resources than I used to be and still trying to catch up. I take three deep breaths whenever I can and try not to keep my head in the sand a l'ostrich. Anyway, I am also trying to do my bit though I am sure I could improve.

Good news about sustainable forests in Germany.

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