Folklore

Broom Folklore

Brooms are a symbol of good luck around the world. They sweep away bad fortune and protect against evil.

Housewarming

A new broom brings good luck and harmony to a home. A broom, salt, and bread completes a traditional welcoming gift:

  • Bread – That this house may never know hunger.
  • Salt – That life may always have flavour.
  • Broom – To sweep away troubles.

Marriage

If a bride and groom hold hands and jump over a broom, good luck and fortune will abound in their union.

An old Welsh custom calls for newlyweds to enter their home by stepping over a broom and luck will follow.

Broom Expressions

The phrase “flying off the handle” comes from broom lore. When a woman would get frustrated trying to chase her children out of the kitchen so she could finish with the cooking, a swat from the broom was a last resort, sending the straw flying off the handle and across the room.

The phrase “living over the brush” refers to a common-law relationship, and dates back to Europe in the 19th century when a couple would jump the broom to signify marriage if they could not afford a wedding.