LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Stumbled across an indentation in a stone slab or a shiny spot on a bronze relief on your travels? That’s a sign you’ve found a local symbol of good luck.
Travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) has compiled a list of “Ten Great Good Luck Symbols” around the world to help the superstitious tourist. Reuters has not endorsed this list:
1. Statue of Juliet, Casa di Guilietta; Verona, Italy
Shakespeare must be rolling in his grave over this one. Visitors to the tragic heroine’s statue rub her right breast in the quest for good luck. The truly romantic also leave love letters on the walls of her house.
2. Van Mieu (Temple of Literature); Hanoi, Vietnam
In a long-standing tradition, students with pending exams come here to touch the heads of the courtyard’s 82 tortoises for luck. The pupils in this area must have extraordinarily high grade point averages as the stone heads of the tortoises have become virtually soft from the repeated touching.
3. St. John of Nepomuk Statue; Prague, Czech Republic
The rules for this one are a little complicated but for the very superstitious it’s worth the effort. Touching the reliefs on the statue of St. John of Nepomuk is said to bring good luck, but if you want good fortune that’s a little more specific, walk a few steps toward Old Town and find the cross with five stars on the left parapet of the bridge. Touch each of the five stars with a finger and rest your left palm on the cross and make your wish!
4. Rock of Luck; Kusu Island, Singapore
Visitors to this oddly shaped, bright yellow monument will notice a plethora of four-digit numbers written all over its surface. For those unfamiliar with the Singapore lottery, these are “picks.” Believers have defaced this rock in the hopes of becoming rich.
5. Worther-See-Mandl; Klagenfurt, Austria
Legend has it that in an effort to remind a group of late night partiers that Easter was the next day, this little guy uncorked a barrel of water and in so doing, created Lake Wrthersee. In spite of this somewhat daunting story, visitors today come here to rub his outstretched finger for good luck.
6. Toritos de Pucara; Cusco, Peru
Those who find themselves in residential areas of Cusco will undoubtedly notice the profusion of somewhat goofy-looking ceramic bulls that sit on the roofs of area homes. In spite of their frightened, bug-eyed expressions and often outstretched tongues, people here take their powers of sending good fortune very seriously.
7. Charging Bull; New York City, New York
Someone forgot to tell the person who started this tradition that the expression is “Take the bull by the horns” not something else. While Wall Street has been an exceptionally unlucky place to be lately, it’s said that touching the private parts of this bull will bring good luck.
8. La Chouette; Dijon, France
Although Dijon is associated more with its mustard than its good luck symbols, the town’s beloved owl is thought to bring such good luck that it’s nearly rubbed out. Carved into the wall of a centuries-old church, the figure is said to bring luck to those who touch it with their left hand.
9. Magellan Statue; Puenta Arenas, Chile
Although clearly taken seriously by many, this tradition feels a little like something drummed up by an office of tourism. Those who rub the foot of the Pantagon man who sits at the base of this statue are said to be sure to return to the area.
10. Grgur Ninski Staute; Split, Croatia
Measuring over 20 feet in height, this enormous statue is a source of great pride for the Croatian people. Depicting Bishop Grgur of Nin who fought to retain the right of the Croatian people to hold religious services in their own language, the statue is thought to bring good luck to those who rub its big toe.
Editing by Paul Casciato