From numbers to plants, from animals to dreams, luck comes to people in many forms, but many cultures have their own special representation of it. We take a look at some of the more famous symbols to represent good luck, where they originated from and how they tie into modern day society, and of course, the gaming world!
Mostly popular as a luck symbol in England and various corners of the UK, as well as other parts of Europe. The story often dates back to a man named Dunstan, who is said to have been approached by someone he suspected to be the Devil, asking him to re-shoe his horse. Dunstan noticed 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. Hence, the affiliation with luck!
Four Leaf Clover
Without a doubt 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 often on slot machines. The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variant of the genus Trifolium, or clover (usually found with 3 leaves). According to folklore, these clovers bring good fortune as each leaf is believed to represent something: the first is for faith, the second for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth, of course is for luck. However, a man in Japan once found a 56-leaf clover! We're guessing he's super lucky then?!
The Beckoning Cat
Translated from the Japanese Maneki-neko, this cat is a Japanese symbol often thought to bring good luck to the owner. The figure depicts a small cat of various designs waving with one paw. Often coloured gold, white or sometimes red, they're often mistaken to have their origins in China because of their popularity with Chinese 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 whilst gold is for financial fortune.
Often found hanging from rear-view mirrors in cars and attached to people's keys, this phenomenon is thought to have begun all the way back in 600BC, with the rabbit foot having become incredibly popular across the whole world, most specifically in the USA, and South America. One of the oldest good luck traditions in human history, the reason for the Rabbit's foot is commonly unknown, however many people have differing opinions on how to actually use the foot, whether it should be the rear or the front paw, and whether it should be carried in a specific place or pocket.
Said to have originated with the Etruscan Civilization in Ancient Italy around 600-700 BC and eventually brought to the Americas by the Pilgrims of Plymouth Rock, the breaking of the Wishbone has since found its way into every corner of mysticism in Western Culture. Whenever they slaughtered an animal, namely chickens, believing them to be oracles, they would save the wishbone and leave it out to dry in hopes of preserving the animals powers. People would then pick up the bone in order to hold it whilst making wishes. This is where the wishbone gets its modern-day name, and when the Roman Empire eventually enveloped the Etruscans, they took the tradition on themselves, but found it too be too popular and did not have enough birds for everyone to take part. Its thought that they split the bone so more people could get their hands on them, and this is how the tradition truly began.