Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Myth of lucky charms--- From Rabbit’s foot to Leprechauns

Many believe that by carrying charms or amulets you can bring luck upon yourself and ward off evil. Others believe it’s simply superstition. Luck is achieved with hard work and dedication and evil is a myth. The latter are similar tales told around bonfires during summer camps. Stories to horror us such as the “boogey man” or the “wicked witches.” During the Wizard of Oz era, young girls would walk around with bottles of water in case they would encounter the wicked witch of the east. A simple toss would make her melt away into history. How can we forget watching horror flicks with Dracula and Vampires? We would spend sleepless nights imagining those young victims escaping monsters by running in forests or down empty alleys. We were so convinced about these horrific disfigured faces that we slept with garlic and crucifixes under our bed. 

Almost every culture has its own unique lucky charm. Ancient African cultures were known to carry a rabbit’s foot. It enabled them a quick flee from enemies chasing them. In the Middle East, the “blue eye” is known as a charm to avert evil. Rubbing the belly of a laughing Buddha is said to bring prosperity and fortune in both the Chinese and Japanese culture. In today’s modern times, the least superstitious among us will pick up a “lucky penny” from the ground because it is believed to shine a ray of wealth and luck. 

However, none remain as popular as the internationally renowned lucky charms bestowed upon the Irish. There is nothing more prominent than the shamrock. Many rhyme and reasons exist for the origins of the shamrock, however the fable is irrefutable since early 400 AD. Saint-Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain to his Irish followers the Trinity. In his sermons he preached how the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit could all dwell as one, yet still remain separate entities. Many Irish wear the shamrock as a symbol of luck. One shamrock believed to be the luckiest of all is the scarce four-leaf clover. This mythical symbol of good fortune is a rare breed. It produces from the three-leaf clover on average 1 in 10,000 due to a rare genetic anomaly.

Chances of getting your hands on a four-leaf clover (in Dubai) is as common as running into a leprechaun. Call me prejudice, but this is my kind of lucky charm. A dream most single woman wishes to experience—a munchkin man, wearing a green tuxedo holding an adept profession as a shoemaker. The tale recounts that if you are lucky enough to find a leprechaun, with enough coercion, he will lead the way to the hidden treasure of gold as so long as he never evades your sight. The Irish blessing states: “Only those who really believe have seen these little elves, and if we are all believers we can surely see for ourselves.” On behalf of all single women, I say this: if I was to encounter a fashionable man with excessive shoe expertise and modest enough not to flaunt his pot of gold—there is no way I would ever let him out of my sight    

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