Here we list things we've spotted in the news about luck and lucky objects. If you see something we should share, please send it to us.
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We saw this article in a local NY newspaper about good luck traditions around the world.
Sept. 2, 2009 New York Post
A sweet film about a tiny village in Serbia that believes that Rocky Balboa will change their destiny and reverse 4,000 years of bad luck. It all started a few years ago with a newspaper story about a small hamlet in Serbia whose destitute residents were trying to reverse 4,000 years of bad luck by building a statue of Rocky Balboa in the village square. Barry Avrich, who made "The Last Mogul" documentary about the late Lew Wasserman, told Page Six, "I went there thinking I would make 'Borat.' " But when he got there and saw how sincere the villagers were, Avrich no longer found them so funny. "Their statue is made of cement because they couldn't afford bronze," the director said. "The town had written Sylvester Stallone for years, but he knew nothing about it." When Avrich interviewed the "Rocky" star, Stallone was moved by their devotion to his 1976 movie and agreed to make a video that was played for the huge crowd at the statue's unveiling during a three-day festival. Now Avrich's film, "Amerika Idol," is playing the festival circuit.
May 8, 2009 eonline.com
Most people think 13 is an unlucky number, not Taylor Swift. Taylor paints the number on her hand before every show because she thinks it's lucky. Not only is her birthday on the 13th, but good things seem to happen to her when the number is involved. "My first No. 1 song had a 13-second intro, and every time I win an award I'm always seated in either the 13th seat, 13th row or the 13th section," she explains.
Oct. 7, Oct. 8, Nov. 5, 2009 nymag.com
Are cats in for 2010? Miuccia Prada sent out models wearing cat patterns in her spring 2010 Miu Miu collection as did Vanessa Seward. Azzaro showed dresses with embroidered cats, and United Bamboo's 2010 calendar features cats wearing little cat versions of the United Bamboo spring 2010 runway looks. Pictures of these looks are available at:
Governors Island is located in the New York Harbor, approximately one-half mile from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan and one-quarter mile from Brooklyn. During the summer, the island hosted an 18-hole miniature golf course designed by artists. Hole 2, by KD Derr and Philip Sikkema, was called Hole Lot of Luck and featured a large beckoning cat. A picture of the beckoning cat golf hole is shown at (link was not functional as we send this but was working a few days ago):
We also found this link. the manecki neko hole is about halfway down the page:
On this pbs web page you can hear Arthur sing about his "Lucky Pencil".
The NY Times reported on July 23, 2008 that at wedding parties in China, the bride often passes out Double Happiness brand cigarettes to guests, a tradition meant to enhance her fertility.
And with the Olympics just over the horizon (starting on the lucky date of 8/8/08), here are some stories about good luck charms related to the Olympics:
The mascots for the Beijing Olympics are the five good-luck dolls known as Fu-was. Each is a lucky charm related to traditional Chinese beliefs.
The Canadian team is carrying "lucky loonies", a Canadian coin that was buried at center ice of the hockey competition in Salt Lake City after which the Canadians won both the Men's and Women's gold medals in Ice Hockey.
Charlotte Kerwood of the United Kingdom's Clay Shooting team reports that she'll carry a towel she hasn't washed in 3 years.
The Brooklyn Cyclones Single-A Mets affiliate baseball team opted for a $9.99 rubber chicken to spark playoff runs. In July, hitting coach Scott Hunter bought a chicken which players squeeze for good luck. Since then, the team went on to a 12-game winning streak that ended early August.
The Rally Chicken is listed as No. 00 in the Cyclones official program. The bird has its own locker,
with a sign above it that reads, "If you need some luck, make me cluck." For road games, the team hauls its new mascot along in a "nest" made out of a milk crate.
A Mamaroneck, NY man who was hit by lightning has been suffering from headaches and chest pain, but is glad to be a survivor. Jason Ward, 21, was working in a New Rochelle masonry yard on Friday, with one hand touching a truck and the other holding a pole, when the lightning hit, throwing him several feet.
"I was rolling like I was on fire," says Ward, who was burned on his hands, chest and forehead. "It hurt uncontrollably. I can't explain a pain like that." Ward won't be throwing away the scorched T-shirt he was wearing. "It's my lucky shirt now," he said. "I'm going to frame it."
Katharine Close, a 13-year-old New Jersey girl making her fifth and final appearance at the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee, aced "ursprache" to win the title. The eighth-grader at the H.W. Mountz School in Spring Lake is the first female winner since 1999. After hearing the familiar word during Thursday's final on prime-time television, she knew she would win.
Katharine, who said she practices an hour or two a day "depending on how much homework I have," acknowledged that luck played a part in her victory. She had studied "ursprache" which means a parent language but didn't know the words that eliminated the third- and fourth-place finishers.
Katharine, who always kept her hands in her pockets as she spelled her words, said she wasn't trying to look cool she was actually holding a good-luck pendant. "It's an angel pendant," Katharine said, removing it from her left pocket. " It was given to me by a family in my town and I always put it in my pocket during spelling bees. I think it brings good luck, for some reason."
Chrise Coste, a 33 year old baseball player on the Philadelphia Phillies class AAA affiliate in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA was struggling earlier this year. In May, Coste’s daughter came bearing a gift: a green Care Bear with a four-leaf clover on its belly, and Coste’s luck turned. Coste hit homers in consecutive games. The next morning he was promoted to the Phillies and is still playng major league baseball.
Stuart Roy was driving across a bridge outside Washington D.C. recently, when a pitchfork that fell off another vehicle came crashing through his windshield. The prongs were just inches from his face and nearly killed him. Roy says the pitchfork is now his good luck charm.
Japanese at the ceremonial first visit of the year to the Zojoji temple gather around "lucky smoke" to pray for good fortune in the New Year.
An airline in southwestern China paid almost $300,000 for the phone number "88888888," saying it hopes to make its customers happy. Many Chinese consider the number "eight" to be lucky because it rhymes with the Chinese word for getting rich.
Also on lucky numbers, in a system designed to stop insider corruption related to license plate numbers, Thailand auctioned the license plate "9999". The winning bidder at 4 million baht ($95,200) was the country's communications minister. He said he may sell the number some day. adding, "this is better than investing in the stock market." The number nine is considered lucky and auspicious by Thais because of its association with the country's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, whose royal title is King Rama IX.
The Food Channel's "Unwrapped" show featured a small candy company in Syracuse, N.Y. that makes good luck candy pigs. The company said it was based on an old European tradition that pigs represented prosperity! Luck Factory has more information on good luck pigs.
A leading organization on fertility issues, Resolve, featured a discussion on alternative treatments to infertility in their most recent magazine. The items cited as widely-used good luck charms for women wanting to get pregnant were Akaubas and Kokopellis. Luck Factory sells both. See our Akaubas and Kokopellis.
The comic strip Beetle Bailey recently featured a character trying ward off the bad effects of an ignored chain letter with a four-leaf clover and a horseshoe. Follow this link to King Features and go to July 4, 2003.
We don't recommend this one! A few days ago CBS News reported a story where someone leaked ammonia gas on an airline flight. The fumes made fellow passengers sick. He claimed the ammonia was needed for a good luck ritual. Jurors found him guilty of recklessly transporting a hazardous material.
Chinese New Year is this month. Firecrackers and smoke are used to chase away bad luck.
Philadelphia is re-opening the Christ Church Burial Ground. Ben Franklin is buried there. It will now be easier to toss your pennies onto his grave, a tradition that began in the 19th century to bring good luck to brides.
New Years luck: Seventeen Magazine recommends eating choices for New Year's luck. The Dutch are said to like doughnuts because they symbolize the yearly cycle. Mexican's eat a grape for each chime of the clock to ensure a fruitful year -- no mention of what to do if you have no chimes. U.S. Southerners eat black-eyed peas because they either look like pennies or because they represent prosperity. We saw another article about this: the N.Y. Times reported that Elvis Presley ate his black-eyed peas with ham for good luck at the beginning of each new Year.
The New York Times had an article about people going to fancy social events in New York City. One of the people was promoting her evil eye beads!
Halloween is this month! Several good luck rituals are associated with Halloween. It's been said if you can pick an apple up with you teeth while bobbing for apples you will have good luck in the year ahead. Other practices involve fire and nuts or apples and may predict who you will marry.
The Anaheim Angels won the World Series. Whether their lucky "Rally Monkeys" were the key to their success, we'll never know.
A user sent us this item about ladybugs at a wedding: "My brother just got remarried here on Saturday and an interesting thing happened during the photo shoot. We went to a beautiful museum grounds where about 5 other weddings were taking place, and went to take some shots with the bride and groom up on the steps of this beautiful vintage stone building. As they mounted the steps, we noticed something very strange: ladybugs. LOTS of ladybugs. We're talking thousands of them ... on the roof, on the columns, on the steps, on the rails ... they were everywhere. A very few of them landed on the bride's dress ... but by and large, the experience was a positive one - we took the ladybugs landing on the dress as a good omen."
A recent story covered the launch of the new Queen Mary 2 luxury liner. At the launch the President of the owner, Cunard, put a UK 5 Pound coin under the keel to ensure that the ship has good luck.
A New York "celebrity facialist" sleeps on a jade pillow she bought for $2,000. "It gives me serenity." She does put a down pillow over it.
David Raney makes 32-inch 300-pound statues of the Hindu elephant-headed god Ganesh. The god is supposed to help with auspicious beginnings. The price? $3,600. We'd probably have to adjust our standard shipping charge quite a bit for this!
Leonard Lauder, of the Estee Lauder family, collects postcards and lots of them. The New York Times reports that among the 25,000 Japanese postcards he donated to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts was a set depicting generals in 1904-05 Russo-Japanese war as the seven Japanese gods of good fortune, one of which is the Hotei / Laughing Buddha.
The Tour de France featured a team from FDJeaux, the French Lottery. Their logo, and the team's uniforms, feature a four-leaf clover for good luck! See the logo on our four-leaf clover page or at their site.
The New York Times had a story about New York's Chinatown and store's requirement that all shopping bags be red. Red is considered to be an auspicious color and good luck is accompanied by red. A seller of the red bags says he was raised to believe red is good luck, saying "I sell a lot of red." Our latest lucky cat hangs from a red string for good luck. However, in a separate article on Fung Shui, a consultant argued against red doors in certain areas because they represent fire.
The Luck Factory's news area on the home page had a story from Oregon's Daily Astorian about the area's June Swedish Festival. Burning of straw hexes for good luck was a high point of the festival. The hexes are a Swedish tradition and they are small bundles of straw that are tossed on the bonfire to throw out bad luck and bring good luck!
Sam Newby won the $1 million Forrest Wood Bass fishing tournament in June, 2003 and credited it to a good luck charm his son gave him four years ago. He won the first tournament he entered after his son gave him the charm and says it still works.
Also from The Luck Factory's news area on the home page, Florida's Lee County News-Press had a story about the local little league baseball champs. Their win was attributed to their coach's lucky brown straw hat. Or, maybe it was the good curveball from their pitcher?
National Geographic's June 2002 issues includes a 17th century angel excavated from the remains of the original Jamestown, Virginia settlement. The 1-inch glass angel may have been used to guard against sterility. See Luck Factory's Angels.
Luck Factory's news had a story about lucky charms in evidence at the national spelling bee finals. Shells, rocks, T-shirts, and lucky dollars were used, among others. (Full story in new window.)
An Argentinian football (soccer) fan interupted the English teams news conference with a black cat for bad luck. (Interestingly, some cultures consider the black cat to be good luck - Ed.)
The Virginia Living Museum has an albino alligator. Looking the white beasty in the eye is said to bring good luck but this is believed to mainly exist for the seller of tickets to look at the alligator.
Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings scored 100 regular season goals in nearly 10 years in the NHL. After scoring 3 in a playoff game on May 18th, credit was given to the lucky "voodoo hex" put on his stick by the team's assistant coach.
Scientists believe thay have found the source of highly -valued Jade for the Olmec and Mayan empires in Guatemala. Jade was more valuable than gold to these civilizations and often accompanied people to their graves.
Gregory Colbert is a photographer featured at the Venice Biennale. An article in the New York Times quoted Colbert on why elephants are featured in his work: "Elephants keep out evil spirits. Indian lore says they remove obstacles and promise good luck and prosperity."
Luck Factory Elephants
Double Olympic ski jumping gold medal winner Simon Ammann of Switzerland returned home to be showered by gifts. One was a live pig for luck. He said the pig was his favorite gift, ranking it above a car and a golden cellphone!
Luck Factory Pigs
"The Stone of Heaven" is subtitled "Unearthing the Secret History of Imperial Green Jade." This does not sound like a cheery easy read. It describes the traditional powers of jade, but it is primarily about the current brutal conditions for mining of jadeite (not shou chou jade) in Burma (Myanmar). Click on the cover image below to buy this book from Amazon.
Luck Factory Jade Information
A 200 year-old double happiness mirror is featured in a 2002 New York show at The China Institute in New York City. The mirror was probably made for a wedding and also features five Fu Bats.
Luck Factory Double Happiness
Luck Factory Fu
A 24-hour spa in New York City called Juvenex features a jade igloo sauna. The spa says the stone was used because of a Koreans believe the stone has healing properties.
Luck Factory Jade
We also maintain a calendar of NYC Chess Tournaments for Elementary School children.