St. Patt'ys Day is a mere week away, so a lot of you probably have shamrocks on the brain (and whiskey and Guinness — although hopefully not disgusting green beer. Come on, you're better than that). But shamrocks are far from the only manufacturers of luck out there, so why not spice up your superstitious routine with a few good luck charms from around the world? Online party supply retailer Fun.com put together a wonderfully entertaining infographic detailing a whopping 32 different items, people, actions, and phrases that folks across the globe believe to be good luck. Who needs the luck of the Irish when you're armed with all these safeguards?
I'm not usually terribly taken by most “party superstore”-type places, but Fun.com gets an A-plus in my book. Why? Purely because of the glorious origin story that graces their “About” page. Here's what it says:
“Fun.com started years ago with the discovery of a purple monster hiding inside the Fallenstein's home in Mankato, MN. The monster imbued the family with a love of Halloween and told them to spread it across the entire world. Armed with nothing but a sewing machine and some serious skills, one of our founders made Halloween costumes for her children every year, but it wasn't until her kids were grown that the idea of opening a season costume rental shop took hold. Starting in the garage with only a couple dozen costumes, Costumes Galore became a season success in the Mankato, Minnesota area which got bigger and bigger each year.
“...And then we took the business online.
The idea of a party supply retailer being the product of a purple monster lurking inside a random Minnesota home speaks to something deep inside my soul. Whoa, indeed.
But if that doesn't do it for you, maybe Fun.com's lucky charms infographic will. Scroll down to see the whole thing — and in the meantime, check out my six favorite unusual good luck charms and from whence they hail here:
1. France: “Merde!”
Or, to use the full phrase, “Je te dis merde!”, which means, “I wish you shit!” It functions the same way telling performers to “break a leg” does in English: Wishing bad luck on someone might somehow have the opposite effect. Kind of like how if you forget your umbrella, it'll definitely rain, but if you take it with you, it won't.
2. Germany: Pigs
According to the infographic, old decks of cards in Germany used to come with a pig on the ace; this, in turn, led to pigs being considered lucky. The Goethe Institute also cites the fact that owning lots of pigs was a sign of wealth in the Middle Ages — as long as you had all those pigs, you'd never go hungry (hence, having pigs equals having good fortune). Additionally, the phrase “Schwein gehabt” is an idiomatic expression meaning “Got lucky there” — but it translates directly to “Got pig.”
3. China: Calling Your Baby Mean Names
Apparently calling your baby names will convince evil spirits that he or she is not, in fact, a human, which will then inspire them to leave the kid alone. The last thing you want is a curmudgeonly supernatural being plaguing your child's every move, right?
4. Argentina: Pope Saint John Paul II, But Not For The Reason You Think
Argentinian football/soccer fans pray to the former pope's saintly spirit for their team to win. John Paul II played football as a child and remained an avid fan for most of his life; for that reasons, he's thought of as the patron saint of football. I'm unclear about whether that's his official saintly designation, though, so do with that what you will.
5. Russia: A Bird Pooping On Your Head
I am not at all certain where this one comes from. It might have something to do with the odds of this event happening being relatively slim... but at the same time, part of me can't help but feel that it's mostly a way to make people who just had a bird poop on their head feel better about the situation. Thoughts, anyone?
6. Children of the '80s: Falkor the Luck Dragon
Because Falkor was the best. Bonus points for including this one, Fun.com.
Aaaaaaand now I have The Neverending Story's theme song stuck in my head. Awesome. While I try to go fix that, check out the full infographic below: