Last month we posted about the Chinese Spring Festival, a holiday that includes many tradition and symbols that help in crease luck, wealth and happiness.  This week, the people of Ireland, and Irish diaspora around the world will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – a holiday which celebrates Irish history and culture. Among other St. Patrick’s Day traditions, people may spend the day hunting for four leave clovers, a common sign of luck among the Irish and Irish-at-heart. People may also talk of “the luck of the Irish”.

With St. Patrick’s Day, Friday the 13th and the Chinese Spring Festival, there has been a lot of talk about “luck” recently.  So we decided to round out the discussion by researching signs and symbols of  good luck from around the world.  Here are some of our favorites:

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Hand of Fatima that GYV Outreach coordinator bought during her travels in Morocco

1)Hamsa/ Hand of Fatima – a symbol in the shape of a palm, this symbol used in the Middle

East and North Africa to ward off bad luck.  Common in both Islam and Judaism. Read more about cross-cultural and inter-faith symbol of luck here

2)Chai (not the delicious tea drink, this”chai” is pronounced with a hard “h” sound) – the Hebew number 18 means life.  Its symbol is commonly worn as a charm on a necklace.  Monetary gifts are often given in multiples of 18 at Jewish celebrations. Learn more here

3)Acorn – travel to a Scandinavian home and you may find an acorn on the window sill.  Dating back to the ancient Vikings, this custom is said to ward off lightning and protect the home.

4) Dream catcher – common in Native American communities, these beautiful woven pieces are hung close to beds to capture evil spirits so the owner will have pleasant dreams and harmony. Make your own dream catcher at the GYV art studio this summer, or practice now with these easy directions.