The Origins of the Lucky Rabbit's Foot

By GPS1504, Jun 1, 2014 | |
  1. GPS1504
    As a child, did you ever come across 'lucky' rabbit's feet? They used to be sold at fairs and were used as prizes at arcades back in the day, although this trend has died off over the years. For a while there, however, it was fairly normal to see a bowl of rabbit feet, dyed in outrageous colors with key chains attached so you could conveniently carry them with you at all times.

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    Photo: Facebook

    The connection between luck and rabbit feet goes back to ancient tradition, although if you were to ask the rabbit who lost his foot he would probably find the whole concept rather unlucky. Nobody wants to lose a body part, after all, especially one as useful as a foot. But alas, woe is the rabbit, for he was nominated to be a sort of talisman many moons ago. Back then rabbits as a whole were considered quite lucky in many parts of the world, thus having a rabbit's foot handy was a good omen for the carrier.

    While the rabbit's foot tradition began in or before 600 BC amongst Celtics, it is firmly rooted in many places around the world such as Europe, China, Africa, and North and South America. In some cases, the rabbit's foot was rooted in religion, and in others, folklore. For example, North American folklore gets rather specific about lucky rabbit's feet. They must be left feet from rabbits caught or killed in cemeteries under the appropriate phase of the moon, preferably on a Friday or ideally Friday the 13th. Apparently true good luck is hard to come by and gaining it requires strict rules by which one must adhere.

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    Photo: Today I Found Out

    In some cases, the rabbit's foot was assigned specific properties in that carrying it would grant you a certain type of luck. Gamblers carrying a rabbit's foot were sure to win. Travelers with a rabbit's foot in tow were destined to arrive safely. Due to the fact that rabbits breed rather effectively, women trying to get pregnant have carried rabbit's feet for increased fertility. Fertility of body is also linked to fertility of soil and abundant crops, so farmers were also friends of the rabbit's foot.

    If you believe you need luck, you might consider carrying a lucky rabbit's foot under the premise that luck will find you. Of course, you may also carry a lucky penny. In reality, it is a hard argument that luck will befall objects simply because we hope it will. However, if you operate on the premise that an amulet only has the power given to it if you believe, then perhaps belief is all you need.

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    Photo: Etsy

    While the popularity of carrying a rabbit's foot is not quite what it once was, they are still seen from time to time. Its association with all things plentiful and lucky makes it a logical choice for a rabbit hunter to believe in as it could be at least in part due to a lucky token that at times our hunts succeed.

    Do you have a rabbits foot or some other good luck item you carry on the hunt? If so, let us know below in the comments!

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