Superstitions busted: Rabbit's foot as lucky charm

Published 15.07.2019 00:07

Rabbits are known for their speed and fertility, and for thousands of years they were the subjects of folk tales and stories. In Japan and the Aztec Empire, rabbits were associated with the dark spots on the moon as they were shaped like rabbits. In China, thanks to its prodigious aptitude for breeding, it is associated with fertility. The rabbit has a trickster status; it is wily, evasive and clever. However, it is also believed that a rabbit's foot is brings good luck to anyone who carries it.

The rabbit itself is generally imbued with a certain amount of superstition and symbolism. Ancient Celts were afraid of rabbits as they spend so much time underground. But their living underground also caused the Celts to believe that they were in touch with the spirits underground. Hence, the Celts started to think that rabbits are actually lucky charms, but they kept their distance from these creatures in order not to mess with the spirits underground.

However, the Celts are not the ones that turn a rabbit's foot into a lucky charm. This superstition is based on the folklore of North America and Great Britain. For instance, it is known that Reginald Scot, who was a member of the British Parliament carried a rabbit's foot around to bring him good luck in the 16th century. But it wasn't until the 20th century that the rabbit's foot became popular. Starting in the early 1900s, gamblers in the U.S. began carrying a dried rabbit's foot in their pockets to bring good fortune during a game.

For the rabbit's foot to be effective, however, it must be carried on one's person. Folklore often suggests that the left pocket is the best place to carry the left foot of a rabbit, but it is also common for them to be carried around the neck or in a pocketbook

— most rabbit foot owners are content with simply keeping it nearby.

However, there is a catch. Would you slay a rabbit, one of the most unthreatening animals in nature, just for luck? Although imitation rabbits feet made out of fake fur and plastic are sold everywhere in the world, there are still people who would prefer a real rabbit's foot. So if you are after luck, I think you should try other superstitions rather than the poor little rabbit's foot.

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