The 26 best lucky charms from around the world

Each people has particular practices supposed to bring them luck. Religion, symbolism or even lucky charms are all means of achieving the same goal.

Whether it's wearing acorns to stay healthy, or placing an elephant in your business to attract success, there are many good luck charms and ways to use them.

Anyway, this article will give you a brief overview of some unique lucky charms that you can find around the world, as well as their meaning.

This is a guide designed to help you determine which lucky charm is right for you or your loved ones.

Jade statuette of the laughing Buddha in a natural environment

Buddhist lucky charm: the laughing Buddha

Although the Laughing Buddha can be found in cultures around the world, this lucky charm is primarily found in Asian countries.

It represents happiness, quite simply because the laughing Buddha is by definition never unhappy.

Consequently, many people have them at home or in their businesses, in order to protect themselves from conflict situations. Many of those who use this lucky charm will give you the same advice. For the luck of the Laughing Buddha to rub off on you, you must rub his belly daily, but above all always keep a positive attitude in the face of life's trials.

In addition to its prominent belly, the Laughing Buddha is often associated with other characteristic elements.

Among these, the most common is undoubtedly a fabric bag. His pose and the objects around him determine the type of benefits he brings around him.

Interested ? You are quite right. Here is a Chinese laughing Buddha statuette chosen for you.

Several jewels with Nazar Boncuk, a lucky charm that wards off the evil eye

Keep the evil eye away

thanks to the powers of nazar boncuk

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Turkish lucky charm: the Nazar Boncuk

Nazar Boncuk (a Turkish expression that literally translates to "evil eye") is the name of an amulet for protection against people with bad intentions. This symbol of luck originated in southern Turkey, but quickly spread to neighboring countries.

Unlike other lucky charm designs, the Nazar Boncuk has no religious significance. For this reason, it has been able to become popular all over the world. In Turkey, it generally comes in the form of a blue jewel that is worn every day for protection.

Among the lucky charms in this article, the kind of Nazar Boncuk pendant that you will find here must surely be among the most powerful.

Although its meaning has been adapted depending on the cultures where it is found, this lucky charm is almost always associated with protection against the evil eye.

This is a phenomenon where a simple malicious look could have dramatic consequences on the life of the person being targeted.

Drawing of a vegvisir surrounded by several Viking runes.

Viking lucky charm: Vegvisir

The Vegvisir, also known as the Viking compass or the rune compass, is a kind of Viking good luck charm once worn by warriors and navigators of the North.

In fact, “Vegvisir” is an Icelandic term that translates to “searching for the right path.”

As its name suggests, this symbol is a kind of compass, but not only that.

Viking legends often present this rune as possessing great magical powers, particularly protection.

While sailors decorated Vegvisir's longships to avoid getting lost, fighters painted it on their shields or helmets to ensure victory.

Truly, we are talking about a truly exceptional lucky charm here.

In short, today, this symbol will be mainly used by practitioners of witchcraft, but also by neopagans of all kinds who see it as a relic, an artifact of the past.

Pile of Chinese coins used in feng shui

Chinese lucky charm: Lucky Coins

Coins have been associated with luck and fortune for almost 2500 years.

This first recorded use comes straight from China, a country where lucky coins are used as part of feng shui to attract certain types of beneficial energy (in particular energies linked to wealth and money). In all likelihood, this practice comes to us from certain Taoist monasteries.

Certain types of coins are therefore considered powerful magical objects in themselves which, used in the right way, can really have an effect on your existence.

There are even some whose value on the market far exceeds the value written on them.

In addition to this, the coin itself is associated with destiny. All over the world, in fact, there is a divination technique consisting of asking a question then letting a coin thrown into the air answer for us.

So this is one more interesting item to add to your collection of magic items.

A glass pendant, a bracelet, a small ring which all represent a lucky clover

The most famous lucky charm

Finding a clover means finding luck

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Irish lucky charm: the four-leaf clover

The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are statistically 1 in 10,000. This is why finding one is associated with exceptional luck.

Symbolically, the four leaves represent faith, hope, luck and love. Anyone who finds such a lucky charm would see these four facets of their life improve that day.

The origin of the use of the shamrock as an Irish national symbol dates back to the Middle Ages.

Legend has it that Saint Patrick used a shamrock to make the Irish people understand the concept of the “holy trinity”, and thus convert them.

Indeed, the leaves of the clover, although distinct, ultimately only form a single entity. For Christians, it is the same for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Four is also considered to relate to the four sides of the cross. Some believe that this lucky charm is in fact a piece of paradise, or Garden of Eden.

That’s good, we have a collection dedicated to the four-leaf clover created especially for you!

oak acorns on a branch

English lucky charm: Acorns

Long before acorns were considered good luck charms, they were already associated with magic, and more particularly witches.

When they passed each other in the woods, the magicians and healers exchanged acorns as a sign of recognition. This way they could ensure that they were safe with each other, that secrets would not be revealed.

A good luck charm best known in Great Britain, it is often said that acorns help to have good/better health.

Wearing one is believed to protect against illness, aches, and other pains. If you are already sick, this can speed up the healing process and relieve pain.

carp in a shower water basin filled with scales

Polish lucky charm: carp scales

Carp scales, if we eat them for Christmas dinner, are considered in Poland a good luck charm that can last the whole year. This custom is also widespread in neighboring countries, including Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

According to tradition, we must let the carp swim in our bathtub until the fateful moment of the meal. However, modern Poles tend to opt for carp prepared in advance by their fishmonger.

Once the fish is consumed, guests each keep a scale in their wallet or pocket as a good luck charm.

This tradition is nevertheless double-edged. If someone loses their lucky scale, they will be struck with bad luck until the following Christmas.

lucky indian elephant

Indo-Thai lucky charm: the Elephant

Representations of elephants constitute a type of good luck charm common throughout Asia. However, they are particularly present in India and Thailand.

Given the appearance of pachyderms, we will easily understand why they symbolize strength, power, stability and wisdom. Many people in Asia believe that seeing an elephant on their doorstep will bring happiness to the house.

It is for this reason that many Asian entrepreneurs place this type of wooden elephant statuette at the entrance to their stores or offices, for good luck.

horn engraved on a white mailbox

Italian lucky charm: Cornicello

This Italian horn called “cornicello” has been used since Antiquity as a good luck charm to ward off evil.

This symbol of luck is still used in Italy today. It is in fact not uncommon to see pregnant mothers or breastfeeding women wearing them to ensure good health for their baby.

This lucky charm is also said to help in a happy marriage. Many believe that bad luck can affect marriages and relationships in general.

The origin of this horn-shaped lucky charm is still debated among historians. For some, a chili pepper could have served as inspiration. Others rather cite an origin to be found in the horn of African antelopes.

Over time, the style of cornicellos has evolved in different ways. Today it is not uncommon to find them in different forms, some of which no longer have anything to do with the original form of this lucky charm.

A horseshoe, a necklace and a bracelet with the emblem of this lucky charm

The best lucky charm

The horseshoe, a powerful symbol of luck

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American lucky charm: the Horseshoe

Although the horseshoe (of which here is an emblematic example ) is undoubtedly the most common good luck charm in the United States, it is also present in Islamic art, as well as in Egyptian iconography. However, no culture gives it the same importance as that of the Americans.

Many people believe that hanging a horseshoe above your door will bring protection and happiness to your home.

However, there remains one point of divergence. Indeed, it is the way of hanging this lucky charm that is the subject of debate.

Some believe that the ends of the horseshoe should point towards the sky, arguing that this position allows for good luck.

Others disagree, suggesting that the ends should face downward so that good luck will flow to those who pass under the door.

rocking dalecarlian horse

Swedish lucky charm: the Dalarna Horse

Dalarna horses, or Dalecarlians, are wooden lucky charms that were first carved hundreds of years ago.

It was initially just a hobby for the Swedes, who considered horses to be sacred animals.

Many Scandinavians used waste from carpentry to make their lucky figurines. Today, the horse is still a symbol of luck. For many, it is also a national emblem for Sweden.

Dalarna horses are generally quite expensive. This is why many people buy them as a “kit” and then paint them themselves.

The pigments traditionally used are red, white or green. With such colors, the lucky charm is supposed to bring, in addition to luck, strength and dignity.

weaving in the shape of a dream catcher in front of a window

Native American lucky charm: the Dream Catcher

Like many other good luck charms, the Chippewa Indian dreamcatcher is used by those who have difficulty sleeping, especially in the case of nightmares.

When someone is asleep, the dreamcatcher is said to trap all of their nightmares, while allowing more positive dreams to flow freely.

The legend around this lucky charm says that when the sun rises, captured bad dreams dissolve, because they cannot survive the light of day.

It was the Chippewas, American Indians, who designed these dream catchers to protect their children.

The spider web shape has its origins in the legend of Asibikaashi, a spider woman, who was considered the guardian of all children according to Chippewa myths.

chinese frog

Chinese lucky charm: Jin Chan

Toads are said to appear during full moons, bringing happiness and warding off most bad news.

With its three legs, sitting on a pile of coins, and even holding one in its mouth, the animal represented by this lucky charm is recognizable at first glance.

According to a Han myth, Liu Hai, a legendary Taoist alchemist, encountered a wounded fox in the mountain that he decided to save.

He then transformed into an extraordinarily beautiful woman, who decided to help him become a god.

For this to happen, he had to trick a frog, guardian of a treasure located at the bottom of a well, which he did successfully. Liu Hai was later able to use the power of the frog to become a god.

So it is actually Liu Hai who is represented in each lucky frog.

lucky keys stuck in a lock

Global lucky charm: the Keys

Keys have always been a lucky charm linked to fortune and liberation throughout the world.

Used in many ceremonies, their symbolism generally remains the same.

For example, in the Catholic religion, the newly consecrated pope receives two diagonally crossed keys. One is silver, symbolizing the spiritual authority of the pope. The other is gold, representing the power of heaven. Jewish midwives gave such lucky charms to women who were preparing to give birth. This was supposed to “unlock” the baby and allow for a safe delivery.

Today, keys are primarily associated with unlocking problematic situations, and therefore freedom.

The most romantic will also see it as an allusion to the key to the heart and therefore to romantic feelings.

African grigri in the shape of multicolored circles

Ghanaian lucky charm: the Grigri

Although grigris are native to Ghana, they have long migrated to other regions of the world, notably North America, where they were introduced to Louisiana through the practice of voodoo. (To learn more, here is some information on this form of spirituality. )

These lucky charms are used to ward off evil and ensure good luck. When they arrived in the United States, the charms began to serve very different functions.

Stopping gossip, attracting money and love or even maintaining the health of their carriers are all examples of why local culture used such lucky charms.

Initially, the charms undoubtedly appeared in the form of small dolls representing gods or spirits.

They have since evolved to become small bags with which 4 elements are generally associated: salt, incense, water and fire (often represented by the flame of a candle).

Ukrainian painted eggs on a square

Ukrainian lucky charm: Pysanka

A pysanka is an Easter egg decorated with intricate designs made using a wax technique.

Ukrainians have been shaping their eggs this way for several generations. As a lucky charm, they represent health, fertility, love and wealth.

As times have changed, the interpretations given to the pysanka decorations have evolved. Many symbols, such as the fish and the cross, are now interpreted through the lens of Christianity.

For example, in pre-Christian times, a fish represented a catch or a bountiful harvest. It is now more commonly associated with Christ.

Despite the various changes in meaning, most of the designs covering these lucky charms continue to imitate those of the pre-Christian era.

Set of three necklaces, a ring and a bracelet on the hand of Fatma

Protect yourself from harm

with the help of Fatma's hand

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Oriental lucky charm: the Hand of Fatma

The Fatma hand, or Khamsa, is an emblem commonly used by Jewish and Muslim communities as a good luck charm.

This talisman can be worn with the hand up or down. It is said to protect people from negative energies and bring happiness to its owner.

Depending on the culture in which it is found, this lucky charm can have different meanings.

The word "khamsa" refers to the number five in Hebrew and is believed to symbolize the five books of the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

In Islam, the five fingers are associated with the five pillars of Islam. The center of the lucky charm represents an all-seeing eye that watches over the viewer.

Rabbit among green grass

Lucky charm of the world: the Rabbit's Foot

The rabbit's foot is one of the best-known lucky charms throughout the world.

Countries such as England, Spain and China are among the many places where you will see people wearing them as a talisman, keychain or even bracelet.

The origin of this lucky charm is to be found among the Celts. They believed that rabbits lived so deep underground that they had the ability to speak with the spirits of the underworld. Carrying one of their paws would then have tended to repel demons.

Even today, wearing a rabbit's foot is believed to ward off evil spirits.

In North America, many believe that a rabbit's foot can only attract good luck if certain rules are followed.

For the lucky charm to be effective, the left hind leg must be worn, and the rabbit must be killed during the new moon.

Blue beetle on a mushroom

Egyptian lucky charm: the Scarab

Carrying a scarab as a good luck charm is a tradition whose first traces date back to 2345 BC. BC in ancient Egypt.

Historians have indeed found amulets there on which beetles were engraved.

We could also find allusions to the Egyptian god of the rising sun, Khepri. It was concluded that for the Egyptians, this animal represented perpetual creation and eternal life.

Historians have theorized that, observing the beetle rolling dung on the ground, the Egyptians associated it with the sun's journey across the sky.

Additionally, the beetle can sometimes lay its eggs in the corpses of dead animals.

A link could therefore be made with the cycle of life, where every birth takes its place in the death of what precedes.

The beetle is therefore a very powerful lucky charm.

Even more so when preserved in resin like here.

plane to brazil

Brazilian lucky charm: the Mano Figa

Although the Mano Figa originated in Italy, it is now more commonly associated with Brazil.

The gesture associated with this lucky charm, a thumb protruding between the index and middle fingers, is subject to many different interpretations.

This emblem was already used in pre-Columbian times as a call for protection from the fertility goddess. It then appeared in the form of a talisman made of silver or blood coral.

When Christianity arrived in South America, the meaning of this lucky charm changed to become protection against the evil eye.

However, don't try to make this hand sign in front of your Hispanic friends... It's actually considered very rude!

This gesture is so obscene that, nowadays, it seems to be used to distract Satan, in order to prevent him from taking over your soul...

Maneki neko type cat in the middle of pebbles

Japanese lucky charm: Maneki Neko

The Maneki Neko is a statuette representing a cat which is characterized by its raised paw.

Neko ” actually means cat in Japanese, while “ Maneki ” translates to “to beckon.”

If the left paw is raised, it is believed that, as a good luck charm, it will attract customers to merchants.

If it is the right, it is believed that it will bring happiness in general, so it is in this position that we find the most.

Quite interesting, no?

You will find a Maneki Neko available here in many colors , all carrying a different meaning.

Statue of Saint Mary carrying Jesus

Mexican lucky charm: Milagros

Milagros, which translate to “miracles” in Spanish, are small religious lucky charms depicting angels, crosses, animals and many other subjects.

They are usually either hung on a wall or carried in the pocket.

The meaning is obviously different depending on the subject evoked by the lucky charm. Milagros are often used in a ceremony called manda.

During a manda, several people ask for various favors from a saint. In doing so, they will leave a Milagro as an offering, near the tomb of the saint from whom they have asked a favor.

Burlap Scarecrow Doll

French lucky charm: Nénette and Rintintin

Nénette and Rintintin (whose story will be described in detail here ) are Parisian jute dolls with interesting origins.

Although they already existed as good luck charms, these figures were popularized during the First World War. They were then given to French soldiers leaving for the front.

Many Parisians also kept them in their homes to protect themselves during often deadly raids and bombings.

A piece of wire connects Rintintin and Nénette. Breaking it would mean breaking the spell, which would expose the lumper to certain bad luck.

lucky piggy bank in the form of a German pig

German lucky charm: Pigs

“Glücksschwein” is a German expression that can be translated as “lucky pig”.

In Germany, pigs are associated with fertility and luck. You can often find them on greeting cards, especially for the New Year.

They are also used as sweets. There are indeed pig-shaped treats throughout northern Europe. Norway and Sweden, for example, have their own expression to designate the famous “lucky pig”. But how can we talk about a lucky pig without mentioning the famous pig piggy bank ( which we offer on our site )?

All over the world, people store coins in piggy banks to attract future wealth, or simply to protect their income.

Peruvian landscape on which we can see ancient lucky charms

Peruvian lucky charm: the Tumi

A tumi is a traditional ornate ax from Peru. It was once used during religious sacrifices and is now a good luck charm, Peruvian national symbol.

In pre-Columbian cultures, priests used the tumi to cut out the hearts of llamas offered as sacrifices to the Sun god, in order to be able to predict the future.

The tumis were also used to perform trepanations, an ancient form of surgery that is now a thing of the past, which involved removing a piece of the skull.

Modern Peruvians hang this ax on their walls as a good luck charm. It is also not uncommon to find them in stores, where they are used to ensure the prosperity of one's business.

lots of little dolls of all ethnic origins

Guatemalan lucky charm: Worry Dolls

Like many other good luck charms you'll find around the world, worry dolls are designed to help people fall asleep.

They are particularly popular with children, although they can be given as a gift to anyone who suffers from mild anxiety or has difficulty falling asleep.

Before going to bed, the person holds the doll and tells it about their problems of the day.

The worries are then transmitted to the doll and thus removed from the individual's mind.

However, some believe that because of their small size, each doll can only handle one problem at a time. You should therefore have a different doll for each of your fears or anxieties.

Woman in the middle of a meditation and relaxation session in front of a sunset

Conclusion

As they evolved, the different cultures of the world created particular lucky charms that we are going to discover.

It was only later that they traveled across continents and seas to reach us today.

Behind every lucky charm is not only a desire for good luck, but often also a deeply rooted story.

By studying a lucky charm, we can easily learn information about the culture from which it comes.

Lucky charms can evoke folklore, legends and even religion.

Historically, many have been used to protect people from the evil eye, a power that the malevolent gaze of others would have.

Others were used to increase the chances of fertility or to bring good luck in general.

Whether we believe in luck or not, the reasons why these lucky charms have remained popular throughout history may be compelling enough to tickle our curiosity.

If you still don't understand what a lucky charm is, perhaps this definition from the site cnrtl.fr can help you.

In short, there are thousands of lucky charms. Such a list is therefore necessarily something personal, and the objects that you find in it will depend on the tastes of the author.

If you look at this list of some lucky charms written by a friendly site for example, you will find others that we have not mentioned here... and vice versa!

In short, the next time you visit another country, be on the lookout for one of these lucky charms, and already think about which ones you are going to make yours!

In this article we have therefore discovered many objects used throughout the world to attract luck.

Some are already available at your favorite lucky charm store. However, others are particularly difficult to find, so our team may not have gotten their hands on them yet for you.

In addition to objects, certain simpler practices can bring you luck. As such, here are some examples of superstitions that will help you be luckier on a daily basis.

Anyway, if you don't find the one you think is made for you, don't hesitate to come regularly and look at our latest added products, we strive to add new lucky charms daily, and this in the listening to the requests of our community.

If you have any questions or recommendations, do not hesitate to contact us by email, or to subscribe to our newsletter.

author picture(Cyril Gendarme)

Discover the author: Cyril Gendarme

Cyril Gendarme is a writer whose website "The Lucky Door" ("La Porte Du Bonheur" in French, his native language) has become a reference in the field of esotericism. Born in Belgium, Cyril has been attracted to the mysteries of the world since he was a child. When his interest in occultism was awakened, a particular subject caught his attention: lucky charms.

After years of study and in-depth research on esoteric traditions from around the world, Cyril decided to share his knowledge with the public through the internet. In 2019, he launched "The Lucky Door," a website dedicated to exploring lucky charms, magical symbols, and esoteric arts.

The Lucky Door is much more than just a showcase for those curious about magic, divination, or tradition. It is the result of Cyril's passion for researching and understanding the mysteries of the universe. Every piece of information available on the site testifies to his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the most hidden symbols and their unique powers.

In addition to his online work, Cyril regularly organizes workshops and conferences in different countries. His presence on social media is also highly appreciated, where he offers personalized advice and happily answers questions from his community.