Whether you’ve got an important exam or you find tours in Las Vegas and end up at a high-stakes card game or you could just use a little luck in life, here are 10 items that are perceived as being lucky around the world.
Crickets and Dragonflies
Don’t be creeped out by these little creatures, as they are considered to be good luck. In Asian cultures, crickets are a good luck charm. It is thought that this originated because the sound of a cricket chirping served as a sort of alarm for any danger at night. If the crickets chirping outside your house stopped suddenly, then you would know that there was danger approaching. It was also considered very bad luck to kill a cricket, even if you did so by accident. Also in Asian cultures, seeing a dragonfly meant that there would be a good rice harvest. The dragonfly is also thought to represent strength, courage, peace, harmony and purity.
The Number 8
In Chinese tradition, the number eight is considered to be lucky because the word for it sounds similar to the word that means wealth or prosperity. In China, the number eight is very desirable and to have a phone number or other number assigned to you with multiple eights in it is considered very auspicious. In fact, the belief in the luckiness of this number is so strong that the Summer Olympics in Beijing began at 8/8/08 at 8 minutes past 8 p.m.
Oak Trees and Acorns
According to Norse folklore, the acorn and the oak tree both bring good fortune. Placing an acorn on your windowsill will ward off lightning. This belief comes from the story of the Norse God Thor taking shelter under an oak tree during a thunderstorm.
Ganeshsa is the half elephant/half human Hindu God of Luck and elephants have been considered lucky in Hindu culture for many years. In the 1930s, the idea of the elephant being a good luck charm made its way into British, American and Canadian culture.
Having a charm or a statue of Buddha is thought to be very lucky, especially if you rub the Buddha’s belly. However, if you are visiting a Buddhist temple anywhere in Asia, be careful not to stand with your back to any Buddha sculptures or even stand alongside them. You should always face the Buddha as turning away is bad luck and disrespectful.
Saint Christopher is the patron saint of travelers and protects anyone who is on a journey. It is common for Catholic people to have a Saint Christopher cross in their car so that this good luck charm will protect them while they are on the road.
Many centuries ago sailors led a dangerous life finding their way across the sea. They used the North Star, Polaris, as a guide to help them determine their position. Over the years the North Star became a symbol of finding your way home as well as finding your path in life. Sailors began to tattoo the nautical stars on their arms as a symbol of good luck and of the importance of getting home safely.
In African American culture, Alligator teeth are thought to increase one’s luck while gambling. Gamblers would put together a “mojo bag”, which contained gator teeth as well as many other interesting objects including five-finger grass, rattlesnake rattles, bat hearts and much more to ensure the luck of the draw.
You have probably heard the saying “See a penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” Of course, the superstition goes that if the penny is face down you should leave it on the ground as it will bring bad luck instead. Coins are also very important within feng shui, as bringers of luck. Various coins serve to bring luck in different areas. For example, if you are looking for your financial situation to improve, the feng shui money cure is to carry round Chinese coins with a square hole in the center. These are ancient Chinese coins, so if you aren’t fortunate enough to possess an original, you can get a replica in any Chinatown or on eBay.
There are a number of gemstones that are also considered to be good luck charms. Amber is thought to contain a piece of the sun and have the power to bring good fortune to the wearer. Wearing sapphire is thought to invite the favor of the gods. Wearing cat’s eye is believed to ward off evil spirits and to clear obstacles in one’s life.
If you could use a little boost in your life, take any of these 10 items with you wherever you go and see if your luck improves.
About the Author: Sandra Willis is a freelance writer who is heading to Las Vegas soon on a bachelorette weekend and plans on bringing her lucky coins for good luck when hitting the casino.