Mali asks the question of the month



My name is Mali! I’m from a company called HABA and I am very curious. At least, that’s what the grownups say about me. There are so many interesting things to discover in the world! But some things are really complicated, so I have loads of questions. Fortunately for me, the people at HABA are very nice and explain everything I want to know. And then I can tell you all the new things I have learned.

Sincerely yours, Mali

January: Is it possible to give luck to others?


Dear Dear Export Team,

I wish you luck and happiness in the New Year. That’s something I learned on New Year’s Eve from mom and dad. This year, I was allowed to stay up late for the first time to watch the fireworks at midnight! All of my mum and dad’s friends came around, and they brought along little gifts: a ladybug or a plastic chimney sweep with a coin in his hand. I asked dad why people do that, and he explained that these miniature figures bring good luck.
That’s a nice idea, but somehow I didn’t quite understand the idea behind gifts for good luck. I mean, how is a ladybug or a chimney sweep supposed to bring luck? Do people do that in every country in the world? And also part of the same question... is it at all possible to give someone good luck as a gift?

Sincerely yours,


Katharina from the Export Team

Dear Mali,

Thank you for your kind wishes. It certainly is the case that, in Germany on New Year’s Eve, people give each other small tokens of good luck, for example a horseshoe, a shamrock or a chimney sweep. This is a nice custom that we follow not only at the turn of the year but also on other festive occasions such as the birth of a baby. The clutching toy Lucky Charm or the pacifier chain Lucky Charm with their cute shamrocks and lucky mushrooms are a symbol of your love for the baby and his or her parents and that you wish them luck and happiness from the bottom of your heart.
Sometimes, as a lucky charm, we also give those charming companion dolls, the guardian angels Toni and Tine. Children often sleep better when cuddling them, because they feel protected. Guardian angels also feature on various everyday items such as plates, bowls and drinking cups.
Just keep your eyes open, dear Mali, and you will see many examples of lucky symbols.
There are various reasons – often historical – why certain things are considered to bring good luck: four-leaf clovers, for example, are very rare, so it takes a lot of luck to find them. The chimney sweep was an important figure in people’s lives when they were still heating and cooking with an open hearth because, by cleaning the chimneys, he made sure that the fire did not go out and that it was always warm in the house. The luck that he brought extended beyond the winter months. All over the world, people want good luck. Although the customs and symbols vary from country to country, it is always the same basic idea.
If you ask people today what luck and happiness mean to them, they will give you very different answers: a loving family and loyal friends, good health, enough to eat, success in life, sunshine after a long rainy spell, or maybe longer summer holidays if they are school-age children. It all depends on their life situation. If you asked people from many different countries about their personal happiness, you would get a wide range of answers.
If you want to give your mum or dad a lucky charm, a good choice would be the threading game Lucky Charm. They will certainly be delighted to receive a bracelet or a chain with a shamrock, lucky mushroom or ladybug.
So you see, even if you don’t have the power to give luck, you can still make others very happy with these small tokens.

On that note, I wish you and your family a happy New Year.


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