How do Good Luck Charms Differ from Country to Country?
Most people find themselves wishing for luck at one time or another. We may claim to be purely rational and have no belief in superstitions, but we all feel like we are going through lucky or unlucky periods sometimes.
The fact that every part of the world has both unique charms and customs that are thought to bring good fortune is proof that the human race is superstitious at heart. The objects and symbols that people put their faith in differ greatly in the various regions of the world though, due to cultural factors.
Read on to find out more about the charms that are embraced in different parts of the world and how they can be used to bring better luck in life.
Almost every region and country across the globe has its traditional good luck charms. The consistent presence of them is one of the few things that unites us all, but there are big national differences in what things people consider to be lucky.
In most cases, the object that has been imbued with the idea of being a good luck charm tells us something important about a nation’s history or religious beliefs. The connection is often obscure and lost somewhere in the mists of time though.
These are some of the charms favored by people in different countries.
United States – dream catcher
The origin of this is the Native American tribe Chippewa, where dream catchers were believed to catch nightmares before dissolving them away with the morning light. Since then, it has been adopted into mainstream US culture, but the country also considers objects like wishbones and horseshoes capable of bringing luck.
India – elephants
The favored status of the elephant within Indian culture is a well-known example of a lucky charm. Many Indians believe that these animals are symbols of wisdom, stability and power. This probably originates with the Hindu god Ganesh, who has an elephant’s head.
Middle East – Hamas Hand
Across much of the Middle East, the Hamas Hand is a lucky symbol. It is known to be derived from the religions of Mesopotamia and is very central to both the Jewish and Islamic faiths.
This symbol is often found in homes in that part of the world, where it is said to keep the evil eye at bay.
UK – acorns
Throughout the Norman Conquest, soldiers fighting in the English army kept acorns with them at all times, as they symbolized power. Now they are more likely to be viewed as charms that keep people healthy.
Germany – pigs
In Germany, the pig is regarded as a symbol of fertility and good fortune. People often send cards with pigs on them for that reason, with this dating back to the Middle Ages, when rich landowners kept pigs.
Ireland – four leaf clover
This is a very famous lucky charm and one reason for its status may be how rare clovers with four leaves actually are. Beyond that though, the resemblance to the cross is believed to be why it is so highly regarded.
Egypt – scarab
Egyptians associate the scarab beetle with rebirth and the sun rise. It is said to guard against evil and represent creation and the afterlife.
Some countries also adopt colors as lucky charms, most notably China. In that nation, red is associated with success, happiness, wealth and good fortune and is very popular at weddings for those reasons.
How lucky charms can be applied
Whatever your country has chosen as its lucky charm, there are times when you may feel that you need its help. For example, people often look to them when taking part in gambling.
Games such as roulette and slot machines are largely matters of luck rather than skill or strategy. Having a charm by your side can make you feel more confident about your chances and this great article goes into more detail about the links between gambling and lucky charms.
These objects can be helpful even if you are not playing the sort of games that involve betting money though. People like to have something to bring good fortune when taking part in any sort of competitive activity, as shown by the number of sports stars who have their own lucky charms.
Outside of games, carrying around a symbol of good fortune is common among people who have important events happening in their lives. If you have a meeting scheduled that could bring promotion at work or earn you more money, keeping a lucky charm on your person in private may boost your hopes of success.
The reason why these different symbols become such a central and potent part of the lives of people across different cultures is because they are used in so many ways. We all need some luck sometimes.
Now you know what some of the major symbols for luck are across the world and ways in which they can be applied in everyday life. Why not give it a go – it can’t hurt.
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