New Years Lucky Charms

A Chimney sweep, a Pig, Horseshoe or Pfennig: If you want to help your luck in the new year, you can try lucky charms. I’ll reveal how these little helpers achieved their symbolism

Chimney sweeper by Wikimedia

The Chimney Sweep brings Happiness to your house

The chimney sweeper saves houses from a fire. They are also known as messengers of good fortune. Some ash from the chimney sweep on their face is said to bring happiness

This superstition has its origins from the Middle Ages, when houses caught fire more easily and more frequently than today. The chimney sweeper protected the the walls of the home and thus brought happiness into the house.

The Pig stands for Fertility

Pigs probably became a positive symbol 2,000 years ago for fertility. Anyone who literally has a Pig is considered lucky, but it doesn’t have to be a real animal. Small, pink marzipan pigs also bring good luck.

Lucky pig

A Four-Leaf Clover wards off Evil

Only clover found by chance brings luck. The Celts thought shamrocks were supposed to ward off evil and give its owner magical powers. To this day, a shamrock is Ireland’s national symbol. In the Middle Ages, four-leaf clover was sewn into clothing to protect travelers from misfortune.
Shamrock, four leave glover, Kleeblatt

But be careful, it should only bring luck if it is found by accident. Potts with cultivated plants, such as those offered in flower shops before New Year’s Eve are (according to this custom) unsuitable for good luck.

The Lady Bug, a crawling messenger for Luck

There was a time when every beetle used to bring luck. Nowadays the Ladybug is considered a crawling messenger of luck.
Ladybug, Marienkäfer

Made of chocolate in red foil with black dots, it is a popular gift, especially at the turn of the year. Originally, every beetle brought luck if it was caught with the left hand and kept in the pocket.


The Horseshoe turns away Misfortune

The horseshoe needs to be hung up properly so it will bring luck. Many people think it turns away misfortune.

As a permanent symbol of luck, the horseshoe should be hung with the opening upwards, otherwise, according to superstition, bad things will happen.

The lucky Penny or Glückspfennig given to the new Baby

The lucky Pfennig survived the Euro. Many also carry a lucky penny in their wallet. According to an old custom, the lucky penny is the first coin that is given to a young earthling by the godfather and carefully kept.

The name “Glückspfennig” has arrived from this. Superstition survived the introduction of the Euro, but the name “Glückscent” did not prevail in the language.

Neujahrsbrezel, New years yeast pretzel. Photo by Wikimedia

Yeast Bread Wreath means prosperity for Farmers

A homemade yeast bread pretzel or wreath is said to bring good luck. Those with a sweet tooth will get their money’s worth.

If you are invited at New Year’s Day you should bring along a homemade yeast wreath/pretzel as a lucky charm. It goes back to an old custom, in the past the leftovers of the New Year’s pastries were fed to the cattle, allegedly to ensure the health of the animals and ultimately the prosperity of farmers.

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