2023 Year of the Rabbit

Luck would have it that 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit. In hopes of sending some good fortune your way, we’ve packed our annual New Year’s card with lucky charms from all over the world. Read below to learn the back stories of these symbols, or press your luck and try to guess yourself.

1. Lucky Penny – Worldwide

Pennies are a symbol of the battle between good and evil. Finding a penny heads up is an indication of good luck, while a tails facing penny can be seen as unlucky.

2. Dice – America

Flying the face of danger, many World War II pilots carried dice and other gambling tokens on board with them. The reasoning? To tip the odds of a safe return in their favor.

3. Bamboo – Asia

Looking for a life filled with prosperity? Bamboo is your lucky ticket. The number or stalks you receive corresponds with your blessings. Two stalks are an expression of love and are considered doubly lucky.

4. Mushroom – Germany

If you stumble upon a red-and-white speckled mushroom in the forests of Germany, consider yourself lucky! Known as glücklicher pilz, this fungi is a sign of good fortune around the corner.

5. Fingers Crossed – Western Europe

The act of crossing fingers dates back to a pre-Christianity belief that good spirits would concentrate at the intersection of crosses. Holding one’s fingers in a cross would anchor a wish until it could come true.

6. Hamsa – Worldwide

Similar to the Turkish Nazar, wearing the Hamsa hand is believed to protect you from the malice of others, shielding you from their negative energy. If the hand is facing downwards, it is a sign of prosperity and happiness.

7. Keys – Worldwide

You’ll be hard pressed to find a culture that doesn’t view keys in a positive light. From opening new doors to unlocking one’s heart, keys largely symbolize freedom and liberation.

8. Infinity Symbol – China

For the Chinese, 8 is an auspicious number. Rotated on its side, the Infinity Symbol is seen as a reflection of the number 8. It is symbolic of renewal and good fortune.

9. Ladybug – Worldwide

The next time a ladybug lands on you, take a moment to count its spots. It is said that the number of spots predicts how many years of good luck you have ahead.

10. White Elephant – India/Thailand

White elephants are considered very auspicious. It is said that the Buddha’s mother dreamt of a white elephant before she gave birth to him.

11. Sparrow – Indonesia

Indonesians believe that if a sparrow flies into your house, someone in your family may soon marry or have the opportunity to give birth.

12. Evil Eye – Turkey

The Nazar, or evil eye, is protection against those with ill intentions. When worn it shields the bearer from the harm of any malevolent glares cast their way.

13. 4 Leaf Clover – Ireland

The odds of finding a four-leaf clover is allegedly 1 in 10,000, which is why it’s considered so lucky to discover one! The four leaves symbolize faith, hope, luck, and love.

14. Spade – Worldwide

As the highest ranking card in a deck, the ace of spades trumps all — making the spade a symbol of luck, victory, and power. But user beware, the intensity of such a force can turn maleficent if you overplay your hand.

15. Wishbone – Etruscan

The Etruscans believed birds were sacred oracles. Whenever a chicken was slaughtered, the furcula was dried in hopes of preserving the bird’s powers. Rubbing the bone while making a wish was believed to release its stored energy.

16. Shooting Star – Greek

Greek astronomer Ptolemy hypothesized that when the gods parted the heavens to peer down on earth, any star dislodged in the process would shoot across the sky. It was believed that making a wish at this moment increased the chances the gods would hear it.

17. Cherries – China

Cherries and cherry tress are symbolic of great wealth and good luck.  Displaying fresh cherries in a bowl or planting a cherry tree in your garden is believed to beckon wealth.

18. Seven – Worldwide

From biblical references to mathematic enigmas, there’s just something about the number seven. Although no one explanation points to the reasoning, the number seven is an unanimous favorite across the globe.

19. Grasshopper – Worldwide

Springing into action, the grasshopper is affirmation of taking the right steps in life. In addition, its forward movement reminds us to charge ahead and leap over obstacles that get in the way.

20. Rabbit’s foot – Worldwide

This year’s showcase, the rabbit’s foot, is central in many interesting, creepy and downright bizarre superstitions around the world. Its origin, however, dates back to 600BC, where the Celts believed that a deeply burrowed rabbit had the ability to communicate with spirts from the underworld.

21. Carrots – China

Resembling lucky pennies to due their vibrant orange hue, carrots symbolize luck and prosperity when sliced into coin-like rounds.

22. Pot of Gold & Rainbow – Irish

According to Irish folklore, leprechauns hide their treasures at the ends of rainbows because they are so difficult to track down. However, if you are able to catch a leprechaun you can attempt to negotiate with him to disclose the secret location. If your persistence pays off, you will be rewarded with a lifetime of riches!

23. Maneki Neko – Japan

Translated as “beckoning cat”, the raised paw of the Maneki Neko is believed to attract customers and bring good business to shop owners.

24. Dreamcatcher – Native American

Looking to catch some Z’s in peace? Dreamcatchers will protect you by filtering out the bad dreams in a room and letting only positive dreams pass through. Its circular shape symbolizes unity and strength.

25. Conch – Buddist

The call of a conch shell is said to be reminiscent of the sacred ‘Om’ sound. It is believed that when the conch shell is blown, the surrounding environment will be purified from all evil.

26. Horseshoe – Ireland

One fateful day the devil himself visited St. Dunstan and requested a horseshoe. Dunstan tricked the devil by nailing a piping hot horseshoe to one of his hooves. Upon desperate request, Dunstan removed the horseshoe under the condition that the devil must never enter a dwelling where one was hung above the door.

27. Acorn – England

Carrying an acorn protects the bearer from illnesses, aches, and other pains. If you’re already ill, an acorn is said to speed up the healing process and alleviate your pain.

28. Goldfish – Asia

A member of the carp family — considered an auspicious species in Asia — the rich color of the goldfish is symbolic of wealth and prosperity. For this reason, goldfish are a staple in many feng shui aquariums.