International Friday: Good Luck Charms and Symbols

Objects and practices that are believed to bring good luck are common to all cultures. Which bring Beloiters good luck? See examples here.

Yu Miyazaki’19 

Happy Charm, Yu Miazaki

Happy Charm, Japan

“I got this from cricket temple (there are hundreds of crickets!). I was told to bring this around so that happiness comes in. It literally says ‘happy charm’ on it in Japanese. I put it in my office bag and bring it everywhere”.

Yuko Hirasawa’20

Yuko Hirasawa'20

“My good luck charm is a box of letters and tickets from all over the world.” 

Chrystel Mendoza’19

To drive safe, It gives me a sense of security


“This is to drive safe. It gives me a sense of security”

 Yi ling Zhang’22 

Nana Heaton 

Koi Fish Name Stamp 

“It is common for Chinese artists to use a stamp for their signature. When I went to visit to my family in China, my mom  took me to her favorite art street to get my own.”

Koi fish symbolize good fortune and auspicious circumstances


Mitsuki Oettli’19 

Ring Ring

“My fiancee gave me this ring when I was a junior. I wear it everyday especially when I have big presentations or events. Now I feel lost when I don’t have it.”


Elizabeth Brewer, International Education

Elizabeth Brewer Sandal charm, Niger.

“This charm was given to me to wish me a safe journey when I was visiting Niger. I had gone there to visit study abroad students and their university and community organization hosts.” 

 Louise H.’22

Nana Heaton

Pair of Turtles

  • This was a gift from my dad to help me with my transition to college.


Maria Elvira Lopez’21

Japanese Egg plant, with golden frog Eggplant and Frog Charm

This eggplant key chain was a gift from a very dear friend. I found the little golden frog inside of it. There is a Japanese belief that states that if you dream about an egg plant in the first day of the year, it will bring you good luck. Frog are also considered symbolic animals for luck and fortune. 


Garlic, Slovakia image credit. E. Brewer 

In many cultures, garlic is a guarantor of health. Thus, it appears often as an ingredient or a symbol of health in From St. Andrew’s to Three Kings: Christmas Recipes and Traditions from Rural Slovakia (VOKA, 2001). A contributor to this cookbook, Anna Bešinová, recalled that in the village of Bacúrov, not only was garlic served on Christmas eve, but tucked inside bread, it was fed to the stable animals to help ensure their health over the winter.

Ingrid Bernáthová (Ed.)


Photo credit: E. Brewer

Nana Heaton’22

Good Luck


My mom gave me this rabbit because it corresponds to my Chinese zodiac animal (1999). 

Good luck charm

Elephant Charm, Thailand

Elephants symbolize strength, wisdom, stability, and power. Elephant charms are used for protection as it is believed that only good things will pass through it and the terrible things will be stopped.


Seva Poitevin’21

Seva Poitevin


This is Bigby!


pressed clovers

Four-Leaf Clovers

Four-leaf clovers are rare, with only about one in 10,000 plants carrying the lucky leaves. Each of the leaves represents one of the following: faith, hope, love, and luck.


Maria Elvira Lopez’21
October 23, 2020


Office of International Education
608 363 2269

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