The Next Best Thing To Bag Charms

Get original with these accessories - that may even improve your life

Figa
17 May 2016

Figa

The figa sign is made with the hand and fingers curled and the thumb thrust between the middle and index fingers, so that the thumb partly pokes out from the fist. In Portugal and Brazil, the gesture is considered a good luck charm; in others (including France, Greece, Russia and Turkey among others), it is considered obscene. Take note of where you use it.

Worry dolls
17 May 2016

Worry dolls

Guatemalans believe that if you tell one of these handmade dolls your worries and sorrows, then sleep with it tucked under your pillow, it will take away your unhappiness.

Pysanka
17 May 2016

Pysanka

The elaborately decorated Ukrainian Easter egg is thought to ward off evil spirits and bring a person good luck. If you should have one, make sure to display it in a secure spot as trampling on it will bring you punishment in the form of illness. 

Ganesh amulet
17 May 2016

Ganesh amulet

Strangely, Thais are big believers in the obstacle-removing powers of the Hindu deity, Ganesh. You’ll often see this in tuk-tuks in the country, used as a charm for smoother journeys.

Nazar
17 May 2016

Nazar

Often used in jewellery, the nazar is an eye-shaped amulet thought to protect one against the evil eye, a curse that’s cast by a malevolent glare. It’s a common sight not just in Turkey, but also in Romania, Greece, Lebanon and Egypt among other countries.

Bezoar
17 May 2016

Bezoar

Harry Potter shoved one down Ron Weasley’s throat to save him from being poisoned. Indeed, the name bezoar (a stone formed in the gut of animals by internal secretions) comes from a Persian word that means “antidote to poison”. They are used as medicine in China and Scotland, and also as talismans and for psychic healing, other than protection against poison.

If you’ve rotated your Karlitos and Rodeos on your bags one too many times, it may just be time to change up your accessory game.

And what could be more culturally rich and authentic than a lucky charm from some far-flung destination? Above, some of the globe’s weirdest and most wonderful good luck symbols. Not only are they gorgeous, they also promise to do everything from removing your unhappiness to preventing you from getting, uh, poisoned. 

For more Living stories, click here or check out What If The Same Guy Played Everyone In Game Of Thrones? or A Love Letter To Ben & Jerry.

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