25 May: Lucky man

Only two more games to go in the 2012 FIDE world chess championship…the factor “luck” will possibly play an important role in the last regular games and maybe in the tie-break. Our cartoonist Frank Stiefel created this new cartoon of the “lucky man“. How many symbols of luck do you discover?

Explanation of the symbols. 

The four-leaf clover is an uncommon variation of the common, three-leaved clover. According to tradition, such leaves bring good luck to their finders, especially if found accidentally. According to legend, each leaf represents something: the first is for faith, the second is for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck.

The tradition that pigs bring good luck — especially at the New Year — is apparently Teutonic in origin; it certainly did not originate in Jewish or Arabic cultures where pig flesh was a forbidden food. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the image of a white pig (almost never a spotted, belted, or brown breed) is used as a lucky charm in Germany, Austria, England, and Ireland, as well as among Anglo-Americans.

And what about our “lucky man in the cartoon, the Chimney Sweep?  This custom started about two hundred years ago, when a London Chimney Sweep saved the life of King George 11. The Sweep had been the only person brave enough to step forward when the King’s coach and horse’s bolted, the Chimney Sweeper pulled up the horses and saved the monarch. The King was so pleased that he made an announcement by Royal Decree declaring that all Chimney Sweeps are good luck bearers and must be treated with respect. The folklore was established and to this day Chimney Sweeps are still considered Lucky and are invited to attend Weddings to kiss the Bride.

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