In many a local traditional around the world, animals have long been thought to give you good luck including the trusty rabbits foot!
We know, it’s all nonsense isn’t it?! Well not for some. From lottery to bingo, casino table games to sports, those having a bet will take any perceived bit of luck they can get and if that means clinging onto to the charm spread by a certain animal then so be it!
Popular “Lucky” Animals
If we had the time to dig up all the lucky symbols, including animals, from various cultures around the world we’d spend a year on this piece. Instead, here are the most common animals seen as being lucky.
As a sign of fertility as well as heralding the spring, rabbits are used to symbolise Easter and at that time of year people see them as very lucky, including gamblers.
Maybe not in the UK or the US, but in central and eastern Europe pigs are very much a sign of good luck, especially on New Year’s Eve for whatever reason. Pork is often eaten in these territories at this time with the symbol of the pig used on all sorts of trinkets, lots of superstitious gamblers from here drinking from a pig cup or holding a pig keyring when placing their bets.
China’s Lucky Animals
Now this really is a part of the world where animals are very symbolic and so the number of different animals thought to represent different things is almost endless.
The Chinese horoscope features horses, dogs and monkeys will tigers are seen as even more significant. Just as the (now) domesticated cat is the big lucky symbol in Egypt, the great tiger is seen as hugely lucky in China with the superstitions coming from ancient times when felines were thought to be magical. Maybe some still think so?
It’s not all about scary, roaring beasts in China though. Crickets and frogs are seen as lucky creatures there, the latter’s reputation perhaps enhanced by popular fairy tales, so don’t be surprised when you see the croaky little green things symbolised in this way.
Sports Bettors Not Exempt from the Animal Madness
Given that those betting on football, rugby, cricket, tennis, horse racing, basketball and the like consider their wagering to be a game of skill and not chance not too many will admit to relying on any form of luck, let alone believing that the image of a certain animal can help them along!
Mascots however have been depicted as animals for as long as sport has been around with bears, dolphins, sharks, magpies and so many more creatures acting as the very symbols of certain sports clubs.
Over in the States you’ll often find live animal mascots, as you would in Portugal when Benfica fly their eagle around the stadium before home football games, so in all fairness it would be folly to suggest that if the general sports fan considers an animal to lucky for his or her team, then those betting on sports possibly think so too.
Those thinking logically will understand that in reality, holding onto a miniature stuffed fox or touching a painting of a lion won’t make your chosen team score another goal, but it costs us all nothing to allow lucky animals to remain part of the process anyway, even if it’s just for fun.