For many centuries, friendship balls, (also known as kugels, witch balls, or spirit balls, among others) have been common within homes for a variety of reasons. In the time when it was thought that witches were on the prowl, people would put one of these glass balls in their window so that when the witch saw her reflection, she would be frightened and run away
Kugels (the original German name for the friendship balls, meaning “ball or globe”) were a traditional choice for the Christmas time, in order to being a sparkle to the home.
In Victorian times, it became a bit more lighthearted, where the glass ball hanging in a garden would be used for an unmarried girl to gaze upon herself and perhaps catch a glimpse of her husband to be. Hopefully, she wouldn’t run away at that reflection.
In more practical terms, servants would use these balls throughout their house so that they would be able to view the table for refills instead of having to go in themselves. The heads of the house could use them as well, checking who was at the door to see whether to ignore the bell or pour some tea.
Nowadays, they are commonly known for fending off sickness, evil, or misfortune and bless the owner. They are used as tokens of friendship, to give as a gift to bless someone’s life. They are also used regularly for holiday decorations, like eggs for Easter or hearts for Valentine’s Day. There are many unique stories around them, especially when you travel from one area to the next. The folklore has come and gone, changed and changed again in the hundreds of years that these balls were a part of the home.
There is something special about each and every friendship ball that is made. Hand-crafted and unique to each ball, they can easily be a once in a lifetime experience for some.