Some say they create their own luck, while others insist luck is random and a matter of chance. Either way, almost everyone agrees that there are elements of luck that humans must experience in their lifetime, whether good or bad. As you ponder on that, here are some light-hearted luck facts to make your day.
1. Women Were Not Allowed to Board Ships As They Were Considered Bad Luck
Among the many superstitions that sailors had (some still do), women were not allowed to board ships as they were considered bad luck. Ironically, naked women were allowed on board as they were believed to have the effect of “calming the seas” and were generally good luck. This explains why ships typically had a topless woman’s figure perched on their bows.
2. Passengers Threw Coins into a Plane’s Engines for Good Luck and Caused an Accident
In some cultures, especially from the Asian continent, people believe throwing coins into shrines, rice fields, and any other place they can’t damage brings good luck. So, when inexperienced passengers boarded a flight, they threw coins into its engine, causing an accident. This has happened on several occasions with different airlines.
3. Postal Workers in Albany Once Adopted a Mascot for Good Luck
In the late 1880s, the postal workers in Albany, New York’s post office, got attached to a scruff mutt whom they later named Owney. They adopted the mascot who traveled with them, riding mailbags across the country. The mascot’s most memorable trip was to Asia and Europe in 1895. Albany workers loved the pet because no train he rode was ever in a wreck; he was considered good luck.
4. People Believed to Have Bad Luck Were Once Employed in Casinos
Popularly known as “Coolers,” people believed to have bad luck were employed by casinos to help break winning streaks. All they had to do was sit at tables where people were winning, and he would “spread” the bad luck. They were popular during the Bugsy Siegel (an American mobster) days and haven’t been employed for years.
5. The Phrase “Luck of the Irish” Has Conflicted Meanings
During the second half of the 19th century, the phrase “Luck of the Irish” meant someone achieved success because of luck. Usually, this was attributed to the miners who didn’t have any skill or intelligence but still found gems.
In other instances, the phrase was seen as derogatory; it was thought to mock the Irish, who had a series of bad luck historically. The potato famine was one of the many cases in point.
6. In Some Cultures, Eating Lobsters on New Year’s Eve Brings Bad Luck
There is a southern tradition that practitioners believe eating lobsters on New Year’s Eve attracts bad luck as the animals can move backward quickly. On the other hand, they consider eating leafy vegetables such as collard greens and spinach to bring good luck.
7. Cats Were A Popular Wedding Gift Among the Vikings
Vikings believed cats were associated with the goddess of luck, Freyja. As such, the pets were a popular wedding gift within the community, with evidence showing men favored women who loved cats. They believed they would most likely add happiness to their marriage.
8. European And Asian Dragons Carry Different Forms of Luck
In Asia, dragons are benevolent creatures; they are known to foster prosperity whenever they go and are generally a symbol of good luck. On the other hand, European dragons are characterized by breathing fire to the innocent, leaving a trail of destruction, and hoarding gold. They symbolize bad luck.
9. There Is a Bell of Good Luck
Located in Foquan Temple in China, The Bell of Good Luck was the biggest and heaviest functioning bell at the time of its construction. Located close to the Spring Temple Buddha, the bell rings at midnight on New Year’s Eve; it is believed to bring good luck. It first rang in December 2000.
10. HBO Cancelled Its Show “Luck” Because Three Horses Died on Set
HBO canceled the show “Luck” because three horses died as filming continued. The TV series that starred Dustin Hoffman, an American actor famous for the film “Meet the Fockers,” was discontinued amid its declining ratings.
11. Men in Italy Touch Their Private Parts to Cancel What They Perceive As Bad Luck
In Italy, when a man sees what he perceives as a bad lack, such as seeing a black cat cross his path, he touches his private parts to “cancel” the imminent bad luck.
12. Black Cats Are Considered Good Luck in Some Regions
While black cats are associated with bad luck and sometimes death, in some parts of Europe, Africa, and the United States, others in Japan and some parts of the United Kingdom consider them good luck. In fact, the Japanese consider them a source of joy for single women; it brings them many suitors. In the United Kingdom, it’s not unusual to find a black cat named “Lucky.” Then, there is Russia, where all cats are associated with good luck.
13. Sumo Wrestlers Are Allowed to Make Children Cry in Japan for Good Luck
Famously known as the Naki Sumo Festival, student sumo wrestlers are allowed to make children cry, which is considered good luck. They raise the infants high in the air, strengthening and endowing them with blessings as they scream.
14. Lucky Charms Cereal Was Forbidden in Some Households
Lucky Charms cereals, founded in 1964, were produced by General Mills. Even though they are loved by many, some parents forbade them because of their name. For instance, Katy Perry, a famous American singer and television personality, says her mother discouraged her from eating Lucky Charms cereals as they reminded her of the devil.