10 Famous Good Luck Charms & How They Originated

Good luck charms have been an important part of the human civilizations since ever. While nobody has ever been able to prove if they actually work in reality, neither has one has been able to prove otherwise. Let’s have a look at some of the famous good luck charms around the world and the story behind their origins

1. Horseshoe, one of the most famous good luck charms around the world

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Origin: English and several European ethnicities

Legend: One of the famous stories behind the origin of horseshoe as a good luck charm is of St. Dunstan and the Devil. According to this legend, St. Dunstan who also worked as a blacksmith once nailed a horse-shoe in the hoof of the devil, which caused the devil to flee. Since then, horse-shoe has been used as a good luck charm to ward off bad spirits.

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2. Laughing Buddha

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Origin: China

Legend: Laughing Buddha, also known as Hotei in Japan and Pu-Tai in China, is a famous good luck charm worldwide. The origin of laughing Buddha is said to be based on an actual monk who used to live under Liang dynasty. He was considered to be a man of good & loving character. It is said that rubbing laughing Buddha’s belly brings you prosperity and good luck.

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3. Rabbit’s foot

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Origin: Existed since 600 BC among Celtic people

Legend: The origin of Rabbit’s foot as a good luck charm is evident since 600BC among Celtic people. According to legend, donor rabbit should possess some particular qualities. Only then the foot can be used as a good luck charm.

  • First, only the left hind foot of a rabbit that is useful as a charm.
  • Second, the rabbit must have been shot or otherwise captured in a cemetry.

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4. Wishbone

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Origin: Breast-bone of a fowl or chicken

Legend: Estrucans , Italian people of the peninsula, they believed in the clairvoyant powers of the birds If a bird was killed, its collarbone was dried in the sun. Anyone who made a wish or request while stroking the bone (but not breaking it) would supposedly gain the favor. The ritual, like many aspects of Etruscan culture, was picked up by the Romans. Scholars believe the custom evolved into breaking the bone because Roman dinner guests would engage in a tug-of-war over that prized part of the bird

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5. Alligator teeth

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Origin: Africa

Legend: In African culture, people believe wearing alligator teeth brings good luck while gambling.

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6. Swastika

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Origin: Ancient India, Indus Valley Civilization.

Legend: The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. It represents ‘Purushartha’- ‘Dharma'(Righteousness & moral duty), ‘Artha'(Wealth & prosperity), ‘Kama'(Desire)& ‘Moksha’ (Liberation). It also represents the 4 directions of the world(4 faces of Brahma)

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7. Lemon-Chilli (Nimbu-Mirchi)

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Origin: Hindu Mythology

Legend: According to Hindu mythology, Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity has a twin sister, Alakshmi, goddess of poverty and suffering. Lakshmi likes sweets and fruits as offerings. Alakshmi, on the other hand, likes sour and hot offerings like lemon (nimbu) and chili (mirchi). So, when someone hangs lemon-chilli outside their house, Alakshmi takes the offering there and doesn’t come inside thus averting the bad luck.

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8. Evil eye middle east

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Origin: Middle East region

Legend: The origin of Evil eyes can be traced back to classical antiquity which states that evil eyes are source of the deadly rays that were supposed to spring up like poisoned darts from the inner recesses of a person possessing the evil eye. The charms that were used to protect the person from evil eyes were also called evil eyes. Since then, evil eye has been one of the most famous good luck charms used all over the world and mostly in Middle -Eastern regions.

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11. Three keys

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Origin: Japan

Legend: In Japan, three keys worn together are a very powerful good luck charm or amulet as they unlock the door that leads to love, health, and wealth. Wearing one key signifies that you are opening the door to whatever you seek.

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So which one’s your lucky charm?

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