Good fortune seems to always befall certain people. You know the type. Tin foil turns to gold with one brush of their Midas touch. It kind of makes you wonder. Can one person simply be born luckier than another? It sure seems this way.
If you fall into the category of folks who rely on finding a four-leaf clover or a heads-up penny for the luck you weren’t born with, welcome to the majority. Granted, any day spent traveling is a lucky day, but there are actually places you can visit where your luck deficient body can receive a shot of adrenaline. Legal steroids, if you will.
Especially if you happen to be down on your luck, here are a few places you might want to think about traveling to where you can change all that. It’s been rumored you’ll walk away as a different person. You may even want to route your return flight through Las Vegas, but as they say, don’t push your new found luck.
1 Blarney Castle, Ireland
A world-famous destination, Blarney Castle is, of course, home to the famed Blarney Stone. The revered stone is set into the battlements of the castle where it gets gingerly kissed by thousands of luck seeking tourists annually. It is said that by doing so the smoocher’s lips will become endowed with eloquence and in matters of persuasion, they will become silver-tongued irresistible devils.
Many researchers believe the stone is made from the same material used to build Stonehenge, which only further adds to its mystery. True or not, the Blarney Stone has been delicately kissed millions upon millions of times throughout the centuries.
2 Hoover Dam, Nevada
What could possibly be lucky about a dam? Just the fact that the largest dam in the United States hasn’t broken and taken out all of the surrounding states is pretty lucky in and of itself. Millions of travelers annually marvel at the grandeur of this human-made monstrosity, but only a smidgen of them are aware of the luck awaiting those in the know.
On the Nevada side of the dam are two magnificent looking winged creatures known as the Winged Creatures of the Republic. They are poised to keep a watchful eye over the canyon. Anyone on their way to Las Vegas, just an hour away, needs to get out of their car and touch either one of the statue’s toes. They may not feel a sudden surge of luck, but if legend holds true they’ll go home with more money than they came with.
3 Rome, Italy
The 1954 academy award winning movie, Three Coins in a Fountain, brought a relatively new tradition to the centuries-old, dating back to the 1700’s, Trevi fountain in Rome. Up until the release of the movie the fountain was no more than a picturesque structure full of water and pigeon droppings.
For a bucket full of good luck a person must hold a coin with their right hand while tossing it over their left shoulder into the fountain. So many people do this that city workers must clean up the coins every night. The proceeds go to a non-profit Catholic charily called Caritas which helps those in need so coin tossers are doing something good for the community as well as blessing themselves.
4 Fushimi Inari Taisha, Japan
Fushimi Inari Taisha is an 8th-century shrine so it’s been handing out luck for a long time. The shrine is dedicated to the god of rice and sake and is a wonder to behold.
The pathway is lined with tall gold spires and is strikingly beautiful. But to receive the luck one seeks they must climb to the top of the summit where they will behold a spellbinding view of the valley below. Perhaps the luck lies in the view alone, but rumor has it you’ll take some of it with you when you go.
5 Nurembrg, Germany
In the center of the Bavarian marketplace sits an ominous Gothic-inspired fountain with intricate carvings. Towering over all else a that it adds to the darkness it appears to emit. But. This is not the case. The fountain is the luckiest thing in Nuremberg and the number of visitors it receives every day is proof.
To receive a healthy dose of luck it is necessary to grab either of the two brass rings hanging in the front and give it a spin. That’s all it takes. Perhaps the old adage about grabbing the brass ring had its origins here.
6 Hagia Sophia, Turkey
Once a Greek Orthodox Bascilla and later an imperial mosque, this incredible tribute to Greek architecture lies smack in the heart of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul. These days it’s a museum which is open to the public and it receives lots of daily foot traffic, much of it there for the same reason, hoping for some luck.
In the center of the museum lies the Weeping Column of St. Gregory, better known as the Weeping Column. The column is believed to weep holy water, but not for everyone. A visitor hoping for the best must stick their thumb in a hole in the front of the column. If their thumb comes out damp their affliction will be cured. If not, better luck next time or go see a Doctor.
7 Abraham Lincoln’s Tomb, Illinois
Statues of Honest Abe adorn his tomb in abundance, but none is more recognizable or famous than the huge bronze bust of him sculpted by Gutzon Borland, the same guy who blasted out Mt. Rushmore. The bust sits out front.
Rubbing Abe’s nose is said to bring good luck as is evidenced by the busts shiny nose as compared to the rest of it. Even politicians have been known to drop by.
8 Lingyin Temple, China
We’ve all seen statues and pictures of Buddha with his big round belly and laughing face. Ancient legend has it that this rendition of him reflects good fortune so it stands to reason how rubbing the obese stomach of any Buddha statue will likewise bring good luck to the rubber. But no likenesses of Buddha can compare with the ones at Lingyin Temple. Especially the one at the temple’s entrance.
Known as “The Peak That Flew Hither,” the larger than life Buddha greeting visitors to the temple is the statue of all statues. Passersby typically rub the belly on their way past and visitors come here mainly to observe this tradition when they’re hoping for the best.
9 Florence, Italy
The bronze statue of a boar called “the piglet” stands at the south side of the Mercato Nuovo. The original bronze masterpiece was created in the early 17th century and was removed to a museum for safekeeping. While the current statue is a replica, cast in 1998, the tradition lives on.
Coins put in his mouth fall into the grate below, reputedly bringing good luck. Rubbing his snout has stood as a firm guarantee that person will one day return to Florence. This latter tradition has been around since at least 1766, when a Scottish writer documented it.
If you’re down on your luck, at least now you know where you can go to do something about it. Whether you’re a true believer or just want to get in on the fun, you should try some of these good luck traditions. Once you get home, immediately play the lotto to see if it worked.