Friday the 13th is a day that many dread for fear of the bad luck it could bring. If you’re the superstitious sort, you might want to fill your pockets with the following good luck charms. But what makes them lucky? Patch tried to find out the legends behind many common “good luck” charms.
Four leaf clover: Normal clovers have three leaves, so Western superstition finds the rare four leaf clover extra lucky for the finder. Don’t be fooled by a pepperwort or water clover—they naturally have four leaves.
Buckeye: The nut of a buckeye tree is said to be lucky, but we don’t know why. Ohio, the “Buckeye State,” must be a great place to live.
Acorn: The ancient Norse thought that Thor favored oak trees, mainly because tall oaks are hit by lighting so much. So naturally if follows that keeping acorns on your window sill would protect you from Thor’s anger—and lighting strikes. If you’re worried about lightning, maybe a pocket full of acorns will keep Thor away. We can’t guarantee you won’t attract squirrels instead.
Squirrels: Cardinal fans know all about the good fortune a squirrel can bring. But did you know that you can buy a Lucky Squirrel Scratcher coin from the “Luckology” store on eBay? The store is run by Ric Wallace, a man who’s claims he has won over 200 lotteries.
Rabbit’s foot: People have been using rabbit feet for luck all over the world. According to Wikipedia, the only lucky rabbit foot is the left hind foot, and then only if it was captured in a cemetery. That cardboard tube covered in pink fur you got at the carnival—not so lucky.
Horseshoe: The iron horseshoe is thought to store good luck. According to The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the horseshoe was believed to be lucky because blacksmiths--lucky guys--created them from iron—a magical metal—with the element of fire. We wonder how much luck a Clydesdale shoe would hold?
Lady bug: Many cultures find cute little ladybugs lucky. If one lands on you, make a wish and blow if off.
Good Luck Minis: You’ll find bins of these tiny rubber animals in gift shops around town. Safari Ltd.’s website does not explain why the rubber toys are “lucky,” but we expect it because you’ll need plenty of luck to find this tiny toy after it falls in the crack of your sofa. You can find butterflies, frogs and ladybug minis at the Butterfly House.
Found penny: You know the rhyme, “find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck.” Learn all about lucky pennies from this irreverent website, the Penny Priestess.
Poker chip: There’s nothing inherently lucky about poker chips, but a recent search on Etsy turned up dozens of “lucky” poker chips you could buy.
Elephant: Elephant charms—with their trunks held up—seem to have their origins in Hindu, since the luck god Ganesha has the head of an elephant. The only local example is the Pink Elephant at Gas 'n' Stuff at Hwy 141 and Schneider Rd. in Fenton which has the good fortune to be next to the Pick-A-Bone BBQ tent.
Feather: Feathers have been symbols of luck for Egyptians, Celts and Native Americans. Need a little luck? This Etsy merchant will be happy to sell you a lucky leather feather, for just ten bucks. And it will keep your keys safe, too.
Crickets: The Chinese feel that crickets are symbols of good luck and keep them as pets. In America, we just fish with them. Get 'em at Denny Dennis Sporting Goods, 1 Gravois Road, Fenton.