Since the olden time, fire and coal have been associated with luck. Though sailors carry a lump of coal in their pockets for good luck and the bride who inherits the fire tongs inherits the house, the chimney sweep is the one who is considered the bearer of good fortune. It has to do with the incident involving King George II who was riding along with a wedding party. One stray dog caused the King’s horse to rear up and the King lost control. One brave chimney sweep came out of the crowd and brought the horse under control and soon vanished into the crowds.
King issues the royal decree
The king was unable to personally thank the chimney sweep and so he declared all chimney sweeps as good luck symbols. From that day on, chimney sweeps were invited to all celebrations so that they bring good luck on the gathering. The good luck rubs off from the chimney sweep to you. People come attired to the wedding and wait to see the traditional chimney sweep in a top hat, coat with tails and a cane rod come to greet the married couple soon after the ceremony is over.
The chimney sweep is hired by the groom to appear at the church right after the bride and groom come out. This is a tradition that is set to ensure the life of prosperity and good fortune for the groom and bride. Ever since the Royal Decree was declared by the King stating that all chimney sweeps were bearers of good luck, folklore has established the tradition of bringing chimney sweeps to all celebrations especially weddings.
Traditional ceremony at the wedding
In this tradition, the chimney sweep greets the bride and groom. This is followed by the good luck tradition of the sweep kissing the bride (a lucky kiss) and the groom shakes the hand. After this, he reads a special message to the couple. Then, he presents a traditional scroll to the newly-wed couple that wishes them good luck and fertility.
Symbolism of the marriage
The fire and hearth symbolises the new family that the new bride receives. It is natural that the chimney sweep should the bearer of the good luck that the bride will inherit along with the house. So, when the luck is given by the chimney sweep, it is multiplied. When you see wedding photos, you are sure to see one or two of the chimney sweep too. This helps keep the luck in the family and pass it on through the ages in the manner of all good tradition. So, if you see a face blackened with soot at a wedding gathering, you know that tradition is being kept alive. It is the luck that has been with newly-wed couples for ages.
Chimney sweeps have kept the tradition alive for the past 200 odd years. It is only right that you should see a chimney sweep on your wedding day and that he wishes you luck. Good things will happen to you in your life.