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Gamblers have traditonally always been superstitious people, and many carry around various lucky charms or perform rituals prior to going to a casino. Some even consider specific destinations to be luckier than others.
Set among the green hills of County Cork in Ireland, Blarney Castle was built in 1446. If you climb to the top of the tower, you will find the Blarney Stone set into the ramparts of the castle. Some believe the stone was brought to Ireland by the Crusaders, others believe that it is the Stone of Scone, the same piece of rock that the biblical figure, Jacob, used as a pillow.
One thing is for certain : it was Queen Elizabeth I of England who coined the term 'blarney'. During her reign she asked the ruler of Blarney Castle to surrender his lands as proof of his loyalty. The ruler gladly agreed but something always prevented his leaving the castle. Eventually the Queen reportedly exclaimed "Odds bodikins, more Blarney talk!"
Since then, 'blarney' has come to mean the ability to coax with fair words without giving offence. To receive some of this potent luck for yourself, just lean back and give the stone a kiss. As legend has it, you too will have the gift of the gab and good luck !!
If all roads lead to Rome, then there is no excuse for not visiting the Trevi Fountain. Follow the sound of the splashing water through the maze of streets in Rome and you will surely come across one of the most beautiful water features in the world.
The Trevi Fountain has been immortalised in songs and books and in the film La Dolce Vita. Long before tourists started flocking to the Trevi Fountain, it was already considered as a site of good luck.
The Boroque fountain features portraits of the allegorical figures of Health and Abundance. Once visitors were encouraged to take a sip of the waters, but these days it is more common for visitors to stand at the fountain's edge and toss a coin into the water for good luck.
Wall Street in New York has long been known as a centre of money, and has always attracted those seeking fame and fortune.
When visiting New York, you don't have to look further than Bowling Green Park for your portion of good luck. Bowling Green Park is home to the 4 000kg Charging Bull Statue.
When the stock exchange fell by a massive 22% during one day in 1987, it became known as "Black Monday". Not long after, stockbrokers arrived at the New York Stock Exchange to find a magnificent statue of a charging bull outside the building. It was secretly delivered and was created to give hope to those who had been affected by Black Monday. It was impounded by the police, but the public outcry that followed ensured that it was safely moved to Bowling Green Park where it still stands today.
As a monument to optimism, strength and hope, the statue has become a focal point for pilgrims of luck. All you need to is march right up to the Charging Bull and rub its nose; it is said that not long after you will find wealth and success, especially when investing on the stock exchange!
Deep in the jungles of Guyana, on the east coast of South America, you will find one of the world's greatest wonders: The Kaieteur Falls.
Five times the height of Niagara Falls, the waters of the Potaro River plunge 220 metres to the plateau below, creating an eternal rainbow above the gorge. At the top of the falls, where the thundering water creates a billowing cloud of mist, there grows a type of bromeliad plant found nowhere else on earth.
Nestled in the leaves of this plant live the fabled Golden Frogs of Guyana. These jewel-like creatures, just over a centimetre in diameter, are famous for the singing sound they make. The native Amerindians of the region believe that when the frogs stop singing, the world will end.
For those adventurous enough to brave the trek to the top of the falls, there is a great reward. If you see a Golden Frog you are considered blessed and fortunate from that time on.
Thailand has a unique culture, splendid Thai architecture, flawless white beaches and delicious cuisine. It is also known as a good place to visit for some luck.
Nestled in one of Bangkok's busiest shopping districts, the Erawan Shrine is known for bestowing good fortune and success on lucky pilgrims. This may seem a strange site for a lucky shrine, as it is surrounded by busy streets teeming with shoppers and Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel Towers above.
Back in the 1950's, when the hotel's predecessor was being built, the project was beset with problems. It was then decided to combat all this bad fortune, a shrine with a golden statue of Dharma or the four-headed Buddha, should be erected. From that day on the project ran smoothly and the Erawan Shrine got a reputation for bringing luck to all visitors.
Combining spectacular architecture with great artworks and fabulous food, Florence is a feast for your senses. Michaelangelo's statue of David may have stolen all the limelight, but the bronze statue of the Wild Boar will bring you luck.
Make your way down the cobbled streets to the Mercato Nuovo, and soon you will come to the Piazza Della Signoria. Set in a niche against one side of the piazza, you will find the Bronze Boar. You may notice that the boar's nose is a lot shinier than the rest of him. This is because on a daily basis hundreds of people come to rub the snout of the boar. It is said that when you rub the snout not only will you gather good fortune, but you are also ensured of a return to the beautiful city of Florence.
Seventh Heaven, the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas.
The number 7 has always been considered a harbinger of good things. In Japan the number 7 is also considered auspicious.
At the start of the new year, it is thought especially lucky to go on a pilgrimage in honour of the seven gods of luck. Many of these pilgrimages do exist in Japan, but one of the easiest and most fun is in Tokyo itself.
Known as the Tokai-Shichifukujin, the pilgrimage is set out along a commercial shopping street that follows the course of the historic Tokaido, an ancient highway connecting Tokyo with Kyoto and Osaka.
Begin at the one end, wind your way down this avenue, stopping at temples that honour each of the seven gods. The entire course can be walked in two to three hours, although you might want to do some shopping or stop for a quick bite of sushi along the way. Before starting, it is traditional to buy a 'treasure boat'. This is a small wooden replica of the mythological boat in which the seven gods like to travel.
At each temple you will receive a small clay doll representing one of the gods as well as a stamp that shows you have visited that temple. Back home you can assemble the ship and the dolls as a reminder of how you got good luck on your side !
Reference : Sun International's official Prive' Magazine Spring Edition 2006
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