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Lucky Symbols

Saptakee Sengupta
People believe in different symbols and signs that are supposed to bring good luck into their lives. Here are some of the most common ones.
'Find a penny, pick it up, and all that day you'll have good luck!' or 'For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way. Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.'

Can the two lucky symbols (penny and shamrock) in these quotes modify your luck? Do you really believe in lucky symbols, or are they mere myths or superstitions steeped into people's mind? Whatever the matter of fact is, these symbols are believed to modify one's luck and destiny.
Ever since human beings have started believing in the concepts of astrology and clairvoyance, a wide array of objects, numbers, and symbols have started playing a significant role in their lives. Amongst them, a few are accepted globally, and the rest belong to a particular region, religion, or group of people.
The Chinese, Japanese, and Egyptians are renowned worldwide for practicing this belief. Each of these lucky signs are rooted in their tradition, religion, and mythology. They are believed to bring good luck to individuals.

Common Lucky Symbols

Rabbit's Foot

People in US, Europe, China, and Africa have immense faith in rabbit's foot. The Egyptians considered it as symbol of luck since, 600 B.C. In North American folklore, the left hind foot of a rabbit is believed to bring good luck in life. These is carried as amulets in bags and on any auspicious occasion. This faith also passed from pre-Celtic tradition.


Legendary stories say that Saint Dunstan nailed horseshoes into the devil's feet, compelling his evil eye away from any house.
Thus, victory over evil was signified by horseshoe. People consider iron made the horseshoe lucky, as it has the power to keep evil things away from one's life.

Four Leaf Clovers

Four leaf clovers was popularized by the Irish people as a lucky symbol. Each leaf was believed to signify faith, hope, love, and luck.
The popular belief in Irish culture says that, the three leaf clover, known as a 'Shamrock', was represented as the Holy Trinity by Saint Patrick, and when it bears the fourth leaflet, it signifies God's grace. Even these tattoos have become popular today, espousing good luck.


An acorn is just an oak nut, bearing a single seed enclosed in a tough and leathery shell.
It is synonymous to the English proverb, 'Great oaks from little acorns grow'. It represents patience, hard work, and labor, that will ultimately fetch success. People believe that good luck will follow if one keeps an acorn with himself.


Stars were associated with good luck and fortune since the Middle ages.
One of the most common types is the barn star, also known as a 'five pointed star' or 'wagon wheel'. This is often seen in front of houses in America and Germany, signifying aesthetic value. This symbol became popular in the United States since the 1700s during the Civil War.


The symbol of Swastika is considered lucky according to ancient beliefs. It is a powerful lucky symbol, used widely in the Eastern regions.
It has other connotations like, Hakenkreuz, gammadion, tetraskelion, and gammadion. However, this symbol should not be confused with the symbol used by the Nazis on their flag. The Nazi symbol stands for evil and bad omen.


This symbol was accepted as a good luck symbol in Greek mythology.
It was represented by two serpents wrapped along a rod, with the wings on the top of the rod, signifying balance and polarity. It was a symbol of good health, and was mostly used by medical practitioners.

Chinese Lucky Symbols

  • Fu: Good Fortune
  • Shou: Longevity
  • Lu: Prosperity
  • Cai: Wealth
  • Ai: Love
  • He: Harmony
  • De: Moral
  • Ji: Auspicious
  • Mei: Beautiful

Japanese Lucky Symbols

Hotei or Laughing Buddha: The symbol of a bald man with a bulging stomach, smiling and carrying a bag of wealth over his shoulders, is popularly believed to bring in wealth and happiness.
Beckoning Cat: This symbol is mostly placed at shops and restaurants. The cat with the right paw raised, signifies flow of money, and the cat with the left paw raised is meant to attract customers.

Daruma Dolls: These typical Japanese dolls are known to bring optimism and good luck.


  • Keys
  • Dragon
  • Fish
  • Turtles
  • Lucky Pigs
  • Scarab Beetle
  • Rainbows
  • Lucky Coins
  • Dream catchers Web
  • Trolls
  • Dragonfly
  • Crickets
  • Chinese Lanterns
  • Bamboo
  • Nose Art
  • Number 7
  • Number 8
  • Albatross
  • Wishing Well
  • Red Bat
Everyone holds a different concept of faith, trust, and belief, and accordingly, these symbols steer the wheels of destiny. But resigning completely to fate and symbols is not something very wise.
Rather, one should mold one's own destiny to be fortunate. And in support of this opinion, the laws of human life justify that 'man is the maker of his own destiny' and 'luck is believing you're lucky'.