Chimney Sweeps, Weddings and Pigs
Chimney Sweeps and Weddings
One legend that is still recognized today is that it is good luck to see a chimney sweep on your wedding day, and it’s even luckier if you shake a chimney sweep’s hand or if he gives the bride a kiss. There are a couple of stories behind this tradition. One is that a chimney sweep once fell from a roof; but because his foot was caught on a gutter, he hung upside down from the roof. A young woman who was engaged to another reached out and pulled him inside through her window, saving his life. The two fell in love and eventually got married to one another.
Another legend which suggests that chimney sweeps are symbols of good luck at a wedding involves King William of Britain. Part of the king’s reward for saving his life was to invite the chimney sweep to his daughter’s wedding. Ever since that time, it has been considered good luck to have a chimney sweep at your wedding, at another special event, or even as a visitor to your home.
The World's Tallest Chimney
Currently the record goes to the Ekibastuz GRES-2 Power Station with a 1337 ft tall coal-fueled power generating station that was built in 1987 in Ekibastuz, Kazakhstan. The US currently has a 1217 ft. chimney at another coal burning power station in Homer City, Pennsylvania which falls short of the tallest in the world but the US will be taking back that distinction soon in Arizona with a unique Solar Chimney
The Myth: I don’t use my chimney enough throughout the year to get yearly inspections and cleanings.
The Facts: While logically this statement seems correct, outside factors make regular inspections necessary. Even if the chimney has not been in use in a while, cracks may still form in the masonry or liner, animals may still nest in the chimney and water may still damage the structure. There are many things that could go wrong, even without regular use. It is better to be safe than sorry when costly chimney repairs are concerned. Many chimney fires happen when a homeowner decides to build a fire after years of not using the fireplace. Prevention is always less expensive than repairs when it comes to the chimney foundation and structure!
Chimney Sweeps and Pigs
One of the bizarre stories involving chimney sweeps as good luck symbols also involved pigs. It was for a period of time a custom on New Year’s Day for a town chimney sweep to carry a pig through the streets. People would pay the sweep a small sum and then, while pulling a hair from the pig, make a wish.