A great topic of dinner party debate is whether or not you are a believer? No, not a ‘Belieber’ (but it’s annoyingly hard not to be a Belieber right now with all of Justin’s current hits, amiright?!). Rather, do you believe in the questionable? Do you believe in karma? Do you believe in fairies? Do you believe there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? Do you believe in lucky charms?
(Do you even believe that your husband will ever put his dirty clothes IN the dirty clothes basket and not ON the floor beside it?)
With St Patrick’s Day just around the corner – Thursday next week to be precise – the question of lucky charms is actually quite a timely one. Those balmy Irish love a mystical lucky charm and there are two in particular that spring to mind on the eve of St Patrick’s Day: Leprechauns and four-leafed clover.
Leprechauns are diminutive fairies featuring in a lot of Irish folklore and in generations of storytelling. They are described to be mischievous creatures who were shoemakers that stole their profits and stored them in pots at the end of rainbows and in remote locations. These tales drove many people to go looking for leprechauns and their supposed hidden fortunes. It is also said that spotting a leprechaun is good luck.
Then there’s the four-leafed clover, otherwise known as the shamrock. Its significance stems from its natural rarity, being that the chance of finding one is said to be 1 in 10,000. There are many superstitions surrounding these clovers, but it is generally believed that each leaf has a specific meaning. Faith, hope, love and luck. Many believe that if it is worn or hung up in the home it would ward off evil, witchcraft and bad omens. It is also believed that Ireland has more four-leafed clovers than any other place, which is where the saying “The luck of the Irish” comes from.
According to Wikipedia, other lucky charms around the world include a rabbit’s foot (gross!), horseshoe, charm bracelet, a wishbone, the male tortoiseshell cat (?) and the waving Japanese Maneki Neko cat.
But on the flipside, there are some very unlucky charms around. We want to know, do you believe in any of these supposedly bad omens?:
- A black cat crossing your path
- Unlucky numbers including 4 (Chinese), 17 (Italian) and 13 (would you believe there’s actually a name for the fear of 13: Triskaidekaphobia!)
- Opening an umbrella indoors
- Walking under a ladder
- Breaking a mirror
- Putting shoes on a table
- Spilling salt.
So, tell us, what other bad luck omens do you believe in? And, will you use St Patrick’s Day next week as an excuse to down a pint of Guinness, or five?!
PS. To get right into the spirit of the Irish, don’t miss the annual Patrick’s Day parade on March 12, 9.30am-noon, through the streets of Brisbane’s CBD (meet at City Hall).