Monday, October 20, 2008

10 unusual monuments to rub, kiss or pat for good luck

Whether it's on their noses, bellies or bottoms, these good luck talismans brave the affections of thousands of people every year who are trying to improve their lot. It's amazing how seriously the superstitions are taken, to the point where people plan their entire vacations around them.

Fertility, money, shyness, whatever ails you, chances are you can probably find something in this list to rub in order to make it go away! ;o)

1. Victor Noir Grave
Pere Lachaise, Paris, France

Although not nearly as famous a personality as most of the names in this star-studded cemetery, Noir's grave is one of the site's prime attractions. A rub of his trousers is thought to increase fertility and as such is often frequented by women hoping to become pregnant.

(image credit: Claudecf)

(image credit: Gyrus)

2. Showgirls Bronze
Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada

If luck is truly a lady then visitors to Las Vegas should make the kick-line statue outside the Riviera's Crazy Girls review a priority. It's said that a little fanny pat will increase gamblers' odds.

(image credit: Brian Sawyer)

3. Bull Mosaic
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan, Italy

If shoppers in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele look a little dizzy there's a good reason. Legend has it that planting your heel on the testicles of the mall's bull mosaic and spinning around will bring good luck.

(image credit: zoonabar)

(image credit: paolo màrgari)

4. Blarney Stone
Blarney Castle, Blarney, Co. Cork, Ireland

At a loss for words? Try kissing the Blarney Stone. Thought to give visitors exceptional powers of speech, the stone must be kissed upside down from a prone position. In an effort to ensure the safety of visiting kissers, Blarney Castle provides a worker to assist in the process.

(image credit: Erik Charlton)

(image credit: elcareeb)

5. Sensoji Temple
Tokyo, Japan

Visitors to the Sensoji Temple in Tokyo believe that a little of the temple's incense rubbed on an aching body part acts as a cure-all for everything from sore throats to backaches.

(image credit: Chang'r)

(image credit: Jim Epler)

6. Chandelier
Cochem Castle, Cochem, Germany

As if a mermaid with antlers was not unusual enough, this one is thought to bring good luck. The worn-down paint on the sea creature's red tummy is proof of how many believers come to give the fixture a little tickle.

(image credit: Kakadu)

7. Intihuatana Stone
Machu Picchu, Peru

Originally constructed as a time measurement device by which sacred ceremonies could be planned, the Intihuatana Stone has developed a secondary function. Some say that sensitive types can rub their foreheads against the stone and see spirits.

(image credit: Anthony Letmon)

8. Manhole Covers

It's hard enough to look out for cracks in the sidewalk, but in Sweden residents also have to look out for manhole covers. Labeled with letters that represent different things like "love" or "lost love," pedestrians either avoid or touch their feet to the covers depending on what fate they might bring.

(image credit: sepatton)

(image credit: wilbanks)

9. Lincoln's Tomb
Springfield, Illinois

It's been reported that people from all over the world come to not only pay their respects to Abraham Lincoln but touch the tip of the former president's nose, thought to be lucky.

(image credit: susiepie)

(image credit: Daveblog)

10. Il Porcellino
Sydney, Australia

Visitors who think they've seen this somewhere else would be right. A copy of the famous Il Porcellino in Florence, this boar was a gift to the Sydney Hospital and Sydney Eye Hospital. Like its counterpart, the statue's snout is said to bring good luck to those who rub it.

(image credit: Tony from Sydney)

Don't miss Strokes of luck: 10 more monuments people just HAVE to touch!

(Sources used: and Reuters)

Previously on Lists Galore!
The 10 best destinations in the world for food lovers
What to do when you get there
Unusually unusual


Cherish said...

Also, the toes of the angels at Hoover Dam...the shine from good luck rubs.

andiscandis said...

I have a photo of my current husband, my then-boyfriend, and three of my other male friends in some very provocative poses with that Vegas sculpture. It ended up being a lucky trip... I ditched the boyfriend and started dating the husband!

Schreiber said...

Also the gnomes' noses on the shields in front of the Munich Residence:

lily dustbin said...

don't forget the Charles Bridge in Prague!!

"A bridge between two worlds
Charles Bridge not only connects the Prague neighborhoods of Mala Strana and the Old Town, but through its timeless atmosphere becomes a bridge between the past and the present and creates a space in which human fantasy finds the hidden world of the supernatural.

One such place on the border of these two worlds is the Archbishop’s brass cross with five stars, situated on the bridge’s balustrade beside the statue of John the Baptist and St. John of Nepomuk, who was thrown into the Vltava river, allegedly on the orders of King Václav IV. It is said that if a passerby puts his hand on the cross so that each of his fingers touches one of the stars, his most secret desire will come true. The magical continuities of the Charles Bridge have even inspired a film, which can be seen in the tower on the Old Town side of the bridge."

Anonymous said...

In NYC near Wall St, people rub the balls of the bull for good luck in the stock market - some people suggest just rub the bull on the nostrils or any body part.

NotLeyla said...

You also forgot about rubbing the tails of the two lions in front of the Art Institute of Chicago for good luck.

The Manticore said...

someone recently painted the Wall St Bulls balls blue. XD

Andi said...

These are all awesome! Keep 'em coming and I'll do a follow-up list!

Anonymous said...

You forgot the Giulietta at Verona, Italy!!! We've to touch her boobs to give good luck.

Emily said...

Also, the ring at the Schöne Brunnen in Nürnberg.

As for the lions out front of the Residenz in Munich I was told it's lucky to touch 3 of the 4. If you touch all 4 you are considered greedy.

Anonymous said...

You can add the "angel" in Belgium were you can touch the feet and your pets will have a good life..
nice post