A Friendship ball is a hollow glass sphere which is traditionally hung in a window to act as a reminder of a special friendship. They originated with glassmakers who used to make them from scraps of coloured glass at the end of their shift to give to friends and family.
Friendship balls are known by many different names including fairy balls, friendship globes, wishing balls, angel balls, ornamental balls or kugels (the word kugel in german means ball).
During the early 1800s kugels were made from very thick glass and had metal tops. Kugels today are commonly known outside of Austria and Germany as friendship balls.
The superstition behind friendship balls centres around the protection of the home and family and the bright colours and reflective qualities are said to repel evil or unwanted spirits.