Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lucky Beings of Myth and Lore

I received a question on my last blog post asking if there were any mythical beings that brought good luck.  This post is in answer to that question.

There are indeed creatures that are thought to bring good luck.  For the sake of this post, I have researched a few popular cultures, but not all.  With that being said, this is in no way a complete list of lucky mythical beings.  The cultures I have looked into are Chinese, Japanese and Celtic. 


Note that I am not grouping these two cultures together because I think they are the same.  I am listing them together because I have found that many of the myths and legends of these cultures are highly similar.


Most people are familiar with dragons.  More or less, these are creatures that are large, reptilian and breathe fire.  These four-legged mythical beings have been thought to be able to control water in order to bring about natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes.  However, they are also symbols of power, strength and good luck.

Feng Huang

These creatures are also called phoenixes.  They have been labeled the Emperor of Birds.  When a male and female bird are represented together, they symbolize everlasting love.  They are birds of the sun and warmth and the summer and harvest.  Feng Huang are symbols of the Empress of China and of brides on their wedding day.


Giraffes were once mistaken for these beings.  This mythical beast looks a lot like a demented pony with very long hair and antlers.  Though the Kirin looks vicious, it eats only fruits and veggies, punishes wrong-doers and is a bringer of good fortune. 

Maneki Neko

If you've ever been inside of an Oriental restaurant, you may have seen one of these statues.  The Maneki Neko is basically a cat with one paw raised in the air.  With a name that means "beckoning cat," this creature brings good luck and prosperity. 


Far Darrig

A lone faery who dons a red cap and coat, this being is also known as the "Red Man."  He enjoys playing practical jokes that have a gruesome twist and is considered lucky for farmers to have around.


The "Man of Hunger" is another solitary being.    A Fear-Gorta is a phantom that resembles an emaciated human.  He roams the land during a famine and will bring good luck to those who leave offerings of food or money.

Though some of the creatures listed do not look like the average protagonist in a Disney cartoon, they are all lucky to have around.  Looks can be deceiving and that is apparent in many stories and tales.  Just as a stunningly beautiful person can be totally ugly on the inside, so too can a creepy-looking old beggar woman be a goddess in disguise.

Like stated above, this list is not a complete list of lucky beings of myth and lore.  If you know of any others, please let me know in the comments!

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