As a bingo fan, you may well believe in taking a lucky charm with you to the bingo hall or keeping it by your side when you play online. However, even if you think superstition is all a load of rubbish, the amount of players who are convinced they play better or have their luck improved when they’ve got their favourite mascot to hand cannot be ignored.
Today, we’re looking at the different kinds of lucky charms that people all over the world choose to use or even worship in the hope of bringing a little good fortune into their lives. Bear in mind that some of them are definitely not portable or available to purchase in your local hypermart, so you may not be able to use some of them for your own good luck – imagine trying to fit a dolphin into your handbag to take to the bingo hall!
Alternatively, you can play on a site like luckity.com which is sure to have lucky charms built into it.
Lucky Numbers and Symbols
The Number 7
Many people, including Americans and Europeans, believe that the Number 7 is the luckiest number. No-one knows exactly why we consider this number to be so fortuitous; however, many religions and different cultures certainly believe it can bring luck. It’s said that God made the world in seven days; Japan has seven gods of fortune; and in China, the seventh day of the first moon of the lunar year is celebrated as the birthday of all humans.
Astronomy and Weather
Plenty of us believe that wishing on a shooting star can bring us luck, because they are so rare to see, particularly in large cities that suffer from significant light pollution, and because they disappear so quickly.
In England particularly, an ancient rhyme that’s often associated with farming goes, “red sky at night – shepherd’s delight; red sky in the morning – shepherd’s warning”. Even today, many of us who see a red hue to the sky at dusk believe it means that the following day will be sunny, bright, and full of good things.
When a rainbow appears in the sky, usually after it’s been raining and the sun reappears, people frequently gaze up in awe and consider its appearance to be a lucky sign. Plus, if you’re a leprechaun, you may well believe that if you follow the path of the rainbow, you’ll find a glistening pot of gold at the end!
The humble pig is considered to be a symbol of good luck, particularly in Germanic cultures. If someone wins a bingo game or the lottery, other people will often call them a “lucky pig”. It’s possible that pigs are considered to be fortuitous as the Tuetons (an ancient Germanic tribe) were said to have sacrificed pigs to the gods to bring them good luck. Greeks also revered the pig because the animal was said to suckle the ancient god, Zeus.
Many Native Americans and Christians consider the dolphin to be a sign of protection, bringing good luck and warding off evil. It’s believed this idea came about when ancient sailors on long journeys often reported seeing dolphins swimming around their ships when land came into view, signalling that they were almost home.
In Roman times, people considered the frog as a mascot that could bring good fortune to their home. Australian aborigines believed frogs were responsible for bringing rain and thunder to help their plants grow. In other countries, these creatures are associated with wealth, prosperity, fertility, and friendship.
DreamCatchers are thought to have originated in Native American culture, and they are considered to be lucky as they capture bad dreams in their webs, leaving the user only remembering good dreams.
Horseshoes are said to symbolise good fortune, strength, and even fertility. In Greek culture, the horseshoe symbolised the crescent moon which was believed to be a symbol of fertility, and if you turn a horseshoe upside-down, you’ll see that its outline looks somewhat like a womb. Many people still hang up horseshoes above their front doors or on the walls of their home to protect their house and keep good luck inside. It’s said that Saint Dustan, who lived in the 10th century, snared the Devil with a horseshoe, and forever after folk believed the Devil would never be able to enter a house bearing a horseshoe over the door.
Another famous phrase states, “find a penny, pick it up and all day long, you’ll have good luck”. Next time you’re out on the street, you might even see a fellow pedestrian bending over to pick up a small coin in the belief it’s a sign of good fortune. Some people like to carry a coin with their birth-date or year on, while others think that coins made in leap years will bring them luck.
Four Leaf Clovers
In Western cultures, we consider four leaf clovers to be lucky signs, and they are particularly associated with the Irish and St. Patrick’s Day. Contrary to popular belief, four leaf clovers actually do exist – they’re just harder to spot as the three leaf variety is far more common.
We’re talking about human eyelashes here, not false ones! Many people say that if a stray eyelash falls on your face, you should pick it up, place it on your finger and make a wish on it, before blowing it away.
These can be found all over America, Europe, and further afield and can include wells, fountains, and even streams. Visitors and locals will throw small coins into the water and make a wish. Tradition also says that anyone who dares to try and ‘steal’ the coins from a wishing well will experience bad luck.
Amber is used by both Muslims and Chinese cultures in incense form to protect themselves and their families from evil spirits. Sapphires were worn by the ancient Greeks to curry favour from the gods, and in India, sapphires are believed to bring wealth and health to the bearer.
Many people have ‘lucky pants’ or another item of clothing that they believe brings them good luck; this may be the underwear or clothing that they wore when something good happened so they continue to believe that if they wear the same piece of clothing it will improve their fortunes.
There are many common types of lucky charms as you can see, and many more which individuals personally favour. Whether you believe in their power is up to you, but many people gain comfort from their charms whether they play bingo or not.