Photo by forestfolksIt’s no secret — we believe that burying a St. Joseph statue will bring luck to your home sale efforts. And some people believe that carrying a rabbit’s foot, finding a four leaf clover, or finding a lucky penny will bring you good luck in every other endeavor.
Here is some history on some of the more well-known good luck rituals:
Remember that childhood game, “Thumbs Up – Seven UP”? If getting someones approval is lucky — then a thumbs up is a lucky signal. For the ancient Roman gladiators, a thumbs up was a sure sign that they would live to fight another day.
Photo by Ashley MayesDo you knock on wood? Sometimes people just say “knock on wood” to refer to good luck — and that’s enough. It’s almost instinctive for some. This practice may date back to prehistoric times, when people believed that gods lived in tress. Touching a tree is a way of acknowledging the deity and securing its favor.
Also: It helps if you knock three times. Evil spirits can’t cope with the power of the number three. Good to know.
Bet you didn’t know that crossing your fingers for good luck is a Christian practice. (We didn’t!) The power crossing your fingers when a good luck charm is not handy dates back to the early Christians who were forced to worship in secret. Since they could not have physical crosses for inspiration or displayed in their homes as an altar, they could create a reminder of Christ’s passion be making a cross of their middle and index fingers.
Photo by mcfarlandmoEcoJoe’s favorite good luck ritual is saying “God Bless You” when someone sneezes. The custom goes back to America’s European roots. In many parts of Europe, there is an old belief that a sneeze can expel the soul from the body. The blessing serves as a verbal charm to protect the sneezer.
Other (lesser known) sneeze beliefs:
-If two people sneeze simultaneously, both will enjoy very good luck.
-A solitary sneeze is considered a lucky omen in many parts of the world.
-The Maori people of New Zealand believe it is symbolic of the act of creation.
-In parts of Africa, sneezing is considered a sign that the body has been taken over by good spirits.
-Native American tribes believed that a sneeze was a sign that the brain was being cleared of evil.
-For the Hebrews, Greeks, Indians, and Chinese, breath was a tangible sign of the soul’s existence, and any loss of breath, especially in a sneeze, was exceedingly bad luck.
My favorite good luck ritual as a kid was holding my breath when crossing a bridge over water. This was a challenge over the longer bridges, but it always made for a good challenge with my siblings!
What are some of yours?