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Common Good Luck Rituals

Updated on December 31, 2012

Common Good Luck Rituals and Superstitions

Luck is defined as a belief in good or bad fortune, caused by accident, chance or divine intervention

Cultural views of luck vary, from perceiving one's luck as just a matter of random chance, to spiritual explanations of faith, or due to superstitious rituals a person can control. "Lucky" rituals such as tribal dancing, and other traditional ceremonies are still performed to attract luck and favor. Ancient Romans believed that the goddess Fortuna was the embodiment of luck and dedicated a temple to her. Offerings were made to the Goddess on January 1st, to ensure good luck and success for the coming new year.

"For each petal on the shamrock

This brings a wish your way -

Good health, good luck, and happiness

For today and every day."

~Author Unknown


Good Luck Sports Rituals

Here are some common superstitions in the world of sports.


* Spitting into your hand before picking up the bat is said to bring good luck.

* A wad of gum stuck on a player's hat brings good luck.

* It is bad luck if a dog walks across the diamond before the first pitch.

* Some players believe it is good luck to step on one of the bases before running off the field at the end of an inning.

* It is bad luck to touch the baselines while running off and onto the field between innings.

* Lending a bat to a fellow player is a serious jinx.

* Some players actually sleep with their bat to break out of a hitting slump or stay in a groove.

* If a pitcher is throwing a perfect game or a no-hitter, never speak of it while it's going on.


* The last person to shoot a basket during the warm-up will have a good game.

* Wipe the soles of your sneakers for good luck.

* Bounce the ball before taking a foul shot for good luck.


* To continue a winning streak, wear the same clothes.

* The number 300, a perfect score, on your license plate will increase your score.

* Carry charms on your bowling bag, in your pockets, or around your neck for good luck.


* Fish may not bite if a barefoot woman passes you on the way to the dock.

* Spit on your bait before casting your rod to make fish bite.

* Throw back your first catch for good luck.

* It is bad luck to change rods while fishing.

* Don't tell anyone how many fish you've caught until you're done or you won't catch another.


* Double numbers on a player's uniform brings good luck.

* It's bad luck for a professional football player to take a new number when he is traded to another team.

* A mascot is an important good luck symbol.


* Start only with odd-numbered clubs.

* Balls with a number higher than 4 are bad luck.

* Carry coins in your pockets for good luck.


* It is bad luck for hockey sticks to lie crossed.

* It is bad luck to say "shutout" in the locker room before a game.

* Players believe they'll win the game if they tap the goalie on his shin pads before a game.

* Many players must put their pads and skates on in exactly the same order every day.


* Always put the right foot in the stirrup first.

* Avoid wearing the color yellow.

* Always shave before a competition (for men only!)


* It's bad luck to hold more than two balls at a time when serving.

* Avoid wearing the color yellow.

* Walk around the outside of the court when switching sides for good luck.

* Avoid stepping on the court lines


* The luckiest seat is the one which faces the door; the most unlucky is that which has its back to a fire-place.

* To change a run of bad cards, lay your handkerchief flat upon your chair and sit on it.

* Walking round your chair three times will also alter the run of the cards.

* In India, it is common wisdom that if one carries a cat's-eye stone, fortune will never diminish.

* Gamblers spit on their hands to guarantee luck.


* Merchants spit on the first coin they receive each day to encourage more to follow.

* Boxers usually spit on their fists before delivering what they hope will be a final blow.

* Aboriginal people in the South Pacific spit whenever the name of a dead person is mentioned.

* The ancient Greeks made it a point to spit three times when they saw a madman.

Sources: "Infoplease Article." Fact Monster. © 2000-2007 Pearson Education, publishing as Fact Monster. 09 Feb. 2010 /

Lucky Birth and Birthday Rituals


When a mother cuts a lock of her baby's hair and puts it away for safekeeping, she is creating a lucky charm. From ancient times in cultures around the world, such mementos were intended to ensure a long and healthy life, as long as the lock of hair was kept in a safe place.


A common symbol of birthday celebrations are the birthday candles. In ancient Greece, the Greek people took their cakes to the moon goddess, Artemis, and placed candles on the cakes because it made the cakes look as if it was glowing like the full moon. If worshipers blew out the candles in one breath, Artemis would watch over them and bring them good fortune, as well as make their wishes come true.

A similar custom began in Germany in the Middle Ages, when a cake was placed on the dinner table early in the morning of someone's birthday. It was surrounded by a circle of candles that burned throughout the day to ward off evil spirits. The candles were also a reminder that life is transitory and represented the candles that would one day be lighted for one's funeral. The person celebrating his or her birthday makes a silent wish while blowing out the candles on the cake. It is said if the person is able to blow out all candles in one breath it signifies that the wish would be answered and that the person would enjoy good luck in coming year. By blowing them out, the person celebrating the beginning of a new year of life is demonstrating the ability to control destiny. Blowing all of them out at one time is considered lucky because it implies mastery over one's fate.The German's also often lit one large candle symbolizing the "light of life" that was marked with lines and numbers (usually 12) that would be burned every year.

Today many people make silent wishes as they blow out their candles. They believe that blowing out all the candles in one breath will bring good luck.


In Mexico, the pinata is usually made out of paper mache and takes the form of an animal. It is filled with candy and treats and hung from the ceiling. The birthday child and guests are blindfolded and hit the pinata until it is broken, then all the children share the goodies and sing the song "Las Mananitas".

Lucky Wedding Rituals


One of the oldest wedding customs in the world, is to shower the bride and groom with rice. It comes from ancient China, where rice was a symbol of fruitfulness. In the Middle Ages, Europeans substituted wheat for rice, but the meaning was the same.


Cutting the cake hand-in-hand symbolizes the couple's unity, a shared future, and their life together as one. The groom traditionally places his hand over the bride's hand as a symbol of his desire to take care of her... plus, it is good luck if the bride's hand is the first to cut the cake.

Why Luck Matters

The Luck Factor: Why Some People Are Luckier Than Others and How You Can Become One of Them
The Luck Factor: Why Some People Are Luckier Than Others and How You Can Become One of Them

Filled with everything you need to live a luckier life, This book is here with information, advice, or if you just have to knock on wood.


Lucky Housewarming Rituals

The Europeans came up with the tradition of house-warmings. For example, give the new home owners a candle so they will always have light, wine so they never go thirsty, olive oil to bring good health, honey so the couple's life will always be sweet and a plant which represents a long life.

An owl is a big item in Italy. It is supposed to bring good luck and ward off evil at the same time. Other cultures let a cat enter the house first. Another tradition - again courtesy of Europe - is to hang a horseshoe over the door for good luck.


The original items thought to ward off evil and bring good luck are; a broom to "sweep away evil", a pinch of salt at the entrance of each door, and a slice of bread, so the new owners would "never go hungry".


It was once believed that the gods must be compensated for the land any structure occupies and thus even today, buildings made of steel and glass usually have a cornerstone. The cornerstone is often engraved with the date construction began and filled with things important to the building's original owner. It is a talisman intended to bring luck not only during construction, but throughout the life of the building.

Fate: Yes or No

Do You Believe In Luck?

See results

You Are Lucky! - By Dr. Seuss

Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (Classic Seuss)
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? (Classic Seuss)

Children (and adults ) will be cheered just contemplating the outrageous array of troubles they're lucky they don't have!


Your Thoughts and Ideas

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    • cjbmeb14 lm profile image

      cjbmeb14 lm 5 years ago

      Some of these are just superstition but I believe in good luck or bad luck.

    • moldypeaches profile image

      moldypeaches 5 years ago

      Love your lens! Learned some new rituals I had never heard of before. Luck always seems to follow hard work is what I was always told as well.

      Good Luck to everyone who plays the lottery where I study the numbers and have my own rituals, such as never buying a ticket on the same day as the draw.

    • profile image

      longbitbeard 5 years ago

      This is interesting stuff. I wonder if there are any stats as to whether or not these charms actually help.

    • MostInteresting profile image

      MostInteresting 5 years ago

      Baseball players are especially superstitious. Some players eat the exact same meal before every game.

    • jejoju profile image

      jejoju 6 years ago

      lucksideon: I ment luck is on your side. Well whatever, great lens I will give lucky charms a try!

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 6 years ago

      I came here by lucky chance

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      The Chinese say that preparation plus opportunity equals luck

    • TheLeftFitz profile image

      TheLeftFitz 7 years ago

      I had never heard of some of these, thanks for bringing them to light! Here's a Lucky Leprechaun Blessing for St. Paddy's Day!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 8 years ago

      AYE! But I am a lass looking for a hint of good luck and I happened upon this mighty fitting lens this fine day!