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7 Good Luck Charms from Around the World
They say you make your own luck, but it can’t hurt to have all the bases covered. Here are seven lucky charms from around the world and what they could do for you.
The Cat’s Whiskers
Ever spotted a toy white cat waving a paw in the window of a Japanese restaurant? That’s a Maneki-neko and in the land of the rising sun they’re said to bestow happiness, wealth and good fortune on their owners. Curious fact: there’s actually a meaning behind which paw the cat is holding up: the left paw aims to attract customers, while the right invites good fortune. You’ll sometimes even find a cat with both of its paws in the air signifying protection. Or maybe it just wants a hug.
More Than Meets the Eye
Jennifer Aniston rocks one. Madonna and Heidi Klum do too. They are hamsas — palm-shaped amulets historically from the Middle East and North Africa and now commonly seen on modern jewellery all over the world. Designed to ward off the evil eye (a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death and plain bad luck), hamsas take their cue quite literally from the Arabic saying khamsa fi ainek — “five [fingers] in your eye".
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
Fancy some uninterrupted shut-eye? According to the Native American Ojibwe tribe, dreamcatchers boost your chance of a sweet dreams and nix the bad by tangling the negative energy in a soft net where it perishes at first light of the new day.
From the Horse's Mouth
You’ll find one in almost every Swedish home — and no wonder. This cute red wooden horse synonymous with the Dalarna region in Sweden represents strength, faithfulness, wisdom and dignity. According to the 18th Century legend, soldiers quartered in the area originally carved the toys as gifts for their hosts’ children. Today, as then, the horse remains a handcrafted symbol of good fortune passed from old to young.
A Pig in Muck
Forget, cats or rabbits. In Germany there’s no animal luckier than the pig. Exclamations of “schwein gehabt” (literally meaning “got pig!”) are common even today, and good luck can be shared with mates by gifting a marzipan pig. The tradition dates back to the Middle Ages when possessing plenty of pigs was a sign of wealth and prosperity. Fortunately rolling in mud didn’t stick.
What Cleopatra is to queens, the scarab beetle is to insects: striking, mysterious and full of mystic wonder. In Ancient Egypt, the scarab was associated with the god of the Rising Sun (Khepri) and was known to represent rejuvenation, wisdom and protection from evil. Today the scarab continues to be a popular design on modern pendants, rings, bracelets and more.
Comedians say all you need to achieve success is “a positive attitude… and a knife” — and Peruvians certainly have the knife part sorted. A tumi is a ceremonial knife made from one piece made of bronze, gold, silver or copper and commonly hung on walls in Peru to ensure good luck. Historically, tumis were used during Incan ceremonies to sacrifice a pure black or white llama to the gods. More recently the tumi has been adopted by the government of Peru as a symbol to promote tourism. Cue llamas everywhere breathing a sigh of relief.
Lucky charms are a bit of fun, but it’s important to plan for all outcomes. If you’re not so keen on leaving things to chance, contact AAMI. We have simple insurance policies for all areas of life – car, home, business or travel.