Luck of the Germans! Germany's Obsession with Good Luck
Here's a run through of some of the Glücksbringer (Good Luck symbols) that are part of German lore.
A luck charm is anything that people believe will bring happiness, prosperity, health and a long life and will keep evil away. It could be construed as something totally superstitious but I think, in 2018, it is more of just a beloved object or a thoughtful and somewhat humorous gift or a nostalgic keepsake. Nothing too foreboding!!
Here's a few of my favorite German lucky charms:
The Good Luck Pig or Glücksschwein
The Ladybug or Marienkäfer
Chimney Sweeps or Kaminkehrer
The chimney sweep brings good luck in Germany for rather pragmatic reasons: when the chimney was stopped up, the man in black had to be called in to clear the flue so you could finally cook your food again. A clean sweep also reduced the risk of setting the house on fire. In the olden days, fees for a sweep's services were collected at the start of each new year so they were often the first well wishers and thus “good luck bringers”. So to this day we consider it good luck to even see a chimney sweep. And you’re even luckier if you get to turn one of the silver buttons on his black uniform – which is why plenty of German chimney sweeps are missing buttons that have got torn off in the process. Last Christmas Gingerbread World introduced an extremely cute lucky Chimney Sweep Smoker to our Christmas Collections and they were snapped up by customers eager to give Good Luck as a gift - so we added more here, here and here!
Toadstools or Fliegenpilze
Toadstools are actually small, poisonous mushrooms. It's really just their happy appearance of bright red cap with white polka dots and that they sprout and proliferate in forests and woods. In old German fairy tales, toads sitting on mushrooms are pictured catching flies drawn to the toadstool, hence the name. Along with the nasty effects of ingesting a toadstool there is auditory and visual distortions, mood changes, euphoria and relaxation; effects which may have led to the toadstool's reputation as "magical". A fortunate person is a “Glückspilz” - a Lucky Mushroom.
Owner @ Gingerbread World
This Blog was written with help from the following sources:
Dead Lucky! What Germans Consider Lucky Charms
Glücksbringer: Good Luck Symbols in Gemany
Wikipedia - Lucky Charm