Put Some Luck in Your Pocket

Olivia Billis, Reporter

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With St. Patrick’s Day near, there has been some talk of the role that luck plays in our lives. Additionally, many seniors are currently anxiously waiting to hear back from colleges with acceptance letters, hoping that fate will prove kind to them. Day to day, students of all ages hope for luck on tests, quizzes, and exams. The idea of luck is constantly present in today’s world, and while luck can’t be held, there are many items that can be carried in hopes that one’s luck will improve.

Luck is defined as “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions”. By this definition, one could assume that nothing can be done to control the level or frequency of luck they can receive. In scientific terms, luck is a myth and cannot be grasped in our universe. However, lucky symbols have been used extensively for centuries in hopes that they will bring extra success. Some of the most common include the four-leaf clover, horseshoe, rabbit’s foot, and Maneki-Neko.

The most popular symbol of luck is the four-leaf clover. It is considered lucky because of its rarity. The chances are low that you will come across a four-leaf clover, even if extensively searching. Thus, if someone were to find one, it would be described as lucky. Each leaf of the clover is said to have a meaning. They represent faith, love, hope, or luck. Supposedly, the lucky leaf only exists on the four-leaf clover. The four-leaf clover remains by far the most favored and thought of symbol associated with St. Patrick’s Day.

The horseshoe has a long history of being lucky. During the Stone Age, there was a perpetual fear of goblins and people wanted to be protected from potential harm. It was believed that the goblins were repelled by the metal weapons of their enemies, so the horseshoe was made out of iron. The shape of the horseshoe also represented the signature crescent of the Celtic moon god. The religious power was also thought to ward off the goblins. The horseshoe is still used today as one of the most popular lucky objects, especially around St. Patrick’s Day.

One of the most peculiar signs of luck is the rabbit’s foot. More specifically, the left hind foot is supposedly the only lucky foot. It originates from African-American culture, which explains the luck of rubbing the left hind foot of a rabbit. Doing so was said to bring good fortune and was a source of protective magic. To this day, they are seen being worn on keychains and carried on one’s possession to bring about luck.

The Maneki-Neko, a lucky figurine originating from Japan, can be seen at the front of Japanese businesses to bring luck. It is also frequently sold as merchandise. The Maneki-Neko is a small white cat with either one of its paws raised. Supposedly, the left paw being raised is meant to attract customers. If the right paw is raised, wealth may improve. Additionally, the higher the paws are raised increases the power of luck in the Maneki-Neko.

While these symbols of luck are the most popular, people often have personal belongings that they have deemed lucky. Members of the Girls Foil Fencing Team are given certain charms when they join varsity. They wear the charms around their neck, as they are meant to provide luck when they fence.

Any object can be deemed lucky, whether it is a necklace, bracelet, charm, family heirloom, or figurine. What matters is the story behind why it is considered lucky, because that is what gave it that power. Lucky objects do not have to be used only around St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, they are typically used in everyday life, and their presence is huge in many people’s lives. Whether through the clover, horseshoe, or another charm, everyone has their own interpretation of what is truly lucky.

 

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