Whether we admit it or not, we all feel a little superstitious, whether we’re picking up pennies, throwing salt over our shoulders or not crossing on the stairs. Old wives tales they may be, but one Glaswegian Bingo Hall has taken this to new heights. The Scottish Mecca Bingo Hall is testing the truth behind these old myths by bringing in a pair of lucky black cats to bring its players good fortune! Whether it helps or not is yet to be seen, but in the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the strangest and most interesting good luck charms in history.
Four Leaf Clover
One of the most common and well used symbols for good luck, the four leaf clover is commonly tied to Irish history, and has been used for everything from Cereal Boxes, Sports logos and even tattoos. The four-leaf clover is a fairly uncommon variant of the more commonly found three-leaf clover. According to tradition, these clovers bring good fortune as each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.
The Number Eight
It is said that the number 8 is lucky in China, and many eastern countries due to the word’s similarity in pronunciation to the word for wealth or fortune. The popularity of the number was clear during the Beijing Olympics, which began at 8.08pm on August 8th, 2008. One Chinese driver spent over £100,000 on a unique licence plate with the 5 number 8’s on it, only to be pulled over 8 times on his first day of ownership because Police kept assuming it was a fake!
Horseshoes are a very popular luck symbol in England, and also in other parts of Europe. It dates back to a story of a man named Dunstan, who is said to have been approached by a man he suspected to be the Devil to re-shoe his horse. Dunstan realised who the man was and shoed his hoof instead, causing the Devil great pain. Dunstan only agreed to remove the shoe and release the Devil if he promised never to set foot again in a home with a horseshoe above the door.
Maneki-neko, literally translated to beckoning cat, is a Japanese figurine or talisman often thought to bring good luck to its owner. The figure depicts a small cat with its paw up, waving. They’re usually coloured white, black, Gold or occasionally red and are often mistaken to be Chinese in origin due to their popularity with Chinese merchants and tourists. White cats are generally intended to bring about the happiness of its owner, along with purity, and positive energy, black is meant to lure away evil spirits and gold is for monetary and financial good fortune.
Thought to have begun with the Celts back in 600 B.C, the rabbit foot has become incredibly popular across the world, especially in North & South America. One of the oldest good luck traditions in human history, the reason for the Rabbit’s foot is commonly unknown. Many people have varied opinions on how to use the foot, whether it should be the hind or the front paw, and whether it should be carried in the left or right pocket.
Said to have originated with the Etruscans in early Tuscany around 700 BC and brought to America by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock, the breaking of the Wishbone has found its way into every corner of mysticism and good fortune in Western History. Whenever the Etruscans slaughtered a chicken, believing them to be oracles, they would save the wishbone and leave it out to dry in hopes of preserving the chicken’s powers. People would then pick up the bone in order to hold it in their hands and stroke it while making wishes upon it. This is where the wishbone gets its modern-day name. When the Romans eventually enveloped the Etruscans, they took the tradition on themselves, but found it too be too popular and ended up being too low on birds for everyone to get a wishbone. It is said they split the bone so more people could get their hands on them, and this is how the tradition truly began, and where the term “Give me a break” comes from.
So there we have it, just a handful of the luckiest symbols from around the world. What are your favourites? Let us know!