Lucky Charms for Londoners
Bring good fortune into your life with London’s most famous lucky charms.
Every city and culture has its own quirks and lucky charms. Us humans are superstitious beings and have developed our own brands of developing luck. Londoners are no different, and it follows that the capital has its very own special traditions for making sure that the day goes smoothly. After extensive research, I have compiled the definitive compendium of London-specific good luck charms.
The Lucky Boris
Developed in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics, these charming statuettes originated in China Town and were fast assimilated by the middle-classes as a popular way to bring good luck to homes and businesses.
It is said that during a bike ride from Chiswick to the Houses of Parliament, Boris Johnson had to swerve in a busy intersection to avoid hitting a house-hold cat, which led him to avoid a nasty accident with a now-defunct bendy bus. The following photo-opportunity with said cat (whose name is cited as ‘Mr. Tiddles III’ in some sources) resulted in a sky-rocketing of his popularity in the polls, heavily contributing to his election as mayor on May 5th a week after the incident. Having a Lucky Boris in your home is now associated with protection and luck in your career.
Use it for… protecting your home from the evil eye.
The practice of wearing a key pendant around your neck is common amongst many world cultures, with the idea being that the key will help you unlock any difficulties ahead of you and help you find what you are looking for.
Today the practice has become more literal in meaning. The wearing of a key pendant is meant to ward off the misfortune of losing your important keys. It helps if this key happens to be a cut that fits your front door.
Use it for… warding off misfortune whilst drinking at the pub.
3 Legged Pigeons
Possibly originating in the belief that 4 leaved clovers bring luck, the rare 3 legged pigeon is a cosmopolitan staple of good fortune amongst the general public.
Although the motif of the 3 legged pigeon seems to have been popularised by Hogarth’s eponymous allegorical work ‘Pedestrian Avoiding the Pitfalls of Winged Beasts’, it has appeared as early as the 6th century on Anglo-Saxon coinage (10 of them were uncovered at Sutton Hoo). In real life, these mythic beasts are tough to recognise as due to the tough winter conditions of London, many 3 legged pigeons have actually lost one of their legs to frostbite.
Use it for… avoiding unexpected financial penalties with your bank.
Throwing loose change into public fountains
The wishing well is a luck trope as old as time itself.
The universal appearance of loose change at the bottom of public fountains may be explained as the location where pennies behind childrens’ ears end up when a magician accidentally screws up the trick illusion. This may be replicated by tossing a coin into your co-workers mug of tea when they’re not looking for a quick rush of luck in the office.
Use it for… increasing the value of your stocks and bonds.