Cultural Lucky Charms

By Lindsay Der

Due to the plethora of cultures and customs around the world, many examples of lucky charms—not the cereal—exist worldwide. Here is a breakdown of some of those cultural lucky charms:

  1. Four-leaf clovers: Due to their rarity, in Ireland, and now internationally, four-leaf clovers represent a symbol of good fortune for those who come across one.
  2. Rabbit-foot: In a great number of places around the world, including Europe, China, Africa, and North and South America, the foot of a rabbit is carried as an amulet believed to bring good luck
  3. Dream catchers: In many Native American cultural practices, dream catchers are hung over a cradle or bed as protection from nightmares. 
  4. Evil eye: Now prominent in Mediterranean cultures, the evil eye has multiple connotations, from bad omen to protection.
  5. Red: In Chinese tradition, the color red represents good fortune in many aspects of life: joy, happiness, vitality, and fertility.
  6. Maneki-Neko: The waving, or welcoming, cat in Japan is popularly placed in the front of restaurants or businesses in order to beckon good luck into the building.
  7. Elephant: All over Asia, most prominently in India and Thailand, elephants symbolize strength, power, stability, and wisdom.