Three Symbols of Good Luck From Around the World

Everyone needs a little bit of luck once in a while. To encourage this, even the most level-headed people can take solace from charms and omens. Very often, some of these superstitions will have mysterious origins and even dark pasts. Below, we discuss three symbols of good luck from around the world and where they come from. 

The Horseshoe

The horseshoe has long been a symbol of good, holding a strong link to Irish mythology. Its origins are believed to date back to the eighth century but from the area around Iran. The Chaldeans, a group of Aramaic-speaking Catholics, are believed to have thought it denoted the crescent moon, and the goddess protecting them from the evil eye. How it got to Western Europe is unknown. 

Today you can find it worn and carried in many sports, with horse racing being the obvious one. The big racing festivals are full of people trying their luck on horses and taking a punt on racing bets. Of course, there is a lot more to it than luck when putting money on a horse. Taking a look at the form of jockeys, trainers, and horses is vital. You may also want to check if your bet has traveled the course and distance before. After this, a horseshoe worn as a brooch or as a bracelet charm may just see your pick romp home. 

A Chimney Sweep


It is less practical to carry a chimney sweep around with you than a horseshoe, particularly on a race day. Yet in Victorian-era England, these workers were heralded as harbingers of good luck. The legend is that if you passed one in the street it will bring luck and that you must shake their hand when you meet one. 

There are two possible explanations for the story, though neither is confirmed by fact. One was that a chimney sweep in Victorian England fell from a roof and ended up hanging by his boots. The woman that saved him later became his wife, thus being a very lucky turn of events. The other is that a chimney sweep saved King George III who was attached to an unsettled horse. Today, chimney sweeps are seldom seen though, at the odd wedding, you may find them hired to bring the bride and groom luck. 


A Tumi is a ceremonial axe from Peru. You can often find it hanging on the walls of homes, bringing luck, happiness, and prosperity to the occupants. Yet this national symbol has a much darker past, dating to the times of the pre-Incan cultures. 

Here, it was used as a tool for ritual sacrifice. Shamans would cut out hearts and entrails, using them to predict the future. They were even used for the dangerous act of trepanning, which involved opening the skull to let oxygen flow to the brain. 

There are many more from around the world, with even more arriving each day. As the world grows and develops further, even more examples of lucky charms will appear. You just need to work out which ones are for you.

Huynh Nguyen

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