Tag Archives: lucky charm

“Crossed Fingers” Good Luck Necklace Pendant

Original Text: “My superstition or ritual I guess for getting good luck is this necklace my mom gave me for college auditions and it’s kind of just like a “crossing your fingers” pendant, like a little hand with crossed fingers for good luck. I rub it or touch it when I need luck. I feel like it has helped me because I got into my dream school, USC, and every time I wear it and touch it, it just feels like I’m getting good luck”

Context: The informant is 18 years old and studies musical theater at USC. Her family is Chinese, but she was raised in Singapore for most of her life. The informant was given this gold necklace with a crossed fingers charm by her mother for good luck during her college auditions. Her parents have “always supported my [her] pursuit of musical theater” and this necklace represents that. She always wears the necklace because it “means a lot” to her. She believes that the crossed fingers themselves amplify the luck already associated with the necklace.

Analysis: The necklace itself is fully gold, which in Chinese culture represents wealth, luck, and happiness. Her mom gifted her this piece of jewelry, which mirrors the common tradition of women gifting and passing down jewelry to each other that contain traditional knowledge, magic, or significance. Perhaps a man would not choose the same gift. The “crossed fingers” symbol that’s featured as a pendant is a common gesture for luck in Western culture and can be used to call on God for protection. Although this gesture is not uniquely Chinese or Singaporean, Singapore’s national language is English and the nation has a strong Western influence — explaining the luckiness of the “crossed fingers” for the informant and her family. 

The Science Bunny


A: I mean if you’re looking for a real piece of folklore, I have a science bunny. You remember the science bunny.

ME: science bunny?

A: the science bunny goes in the pocket of lab coat

ME: ohhh!! (I remembered the science bunny at this point) 

A: every time I have a biology lab or any time that I’m in my lab coat really. Which is a lot. I was in it like uhh probably eight hours a week this semester.

ME: where did you get this bunny?

A: it was a gift for Chinese New Year that was sent from my aunt who’s not my aunt. So she sent me a little–

ME: like a family-friend aunt?

A: a family-friend aunt. 

ME: I have those too

A: and then they had like, the ears had like lanterns and some stuff on them. So but then it was so tiny that I could stick it in my pocket. And then whenever we had exams, my friend and I (who is in biology and chemistry) wed take out the bunny– Cause usually we’d be sitting around each other in the exam room– the bunny, all the knowledge all the science knowledge it’d absorbed by sitting in my pocket, it was going to give back to us. So, that is my little superstition. I’m also convinced that somebody lives in my basement at home, secretly. But that’s not a superstition

ME: well that’s a legend, for another story

A: that’s a legend

ME: interesting, you’ll have to tell me more about the basement guy later. Uhh, the bunny… why do you think you do the bunny? Does it help?

A: I don’t know if it helps, but I think it’s fun to have traditions because it became kind of a little point of comradery. And the fact that one friend would always bully the bunny, so then I would bully the friend. And then also like my other friend, he always just liked seeing the bunny. It was kinda a thing we could all rally around. So it was like every time the science bunny came out… one of my friends was like o my gosh you’re such like a, you’re gonna be such a pediatrician. You with your little bunny. You carry a stuffed animal with you. And I was like aww. And it’s kinda cute, you know it’s just something to hold on to. So yeah…

ME: I appreciate this, thank you

A: glad to get your homework done


This tradition was shared with me by a friend and USC peer while waiting to collect boxes in preparation for move-out.

A grew up in Missouri, USA. A was at the time of sharing a pre-med student.


Good luck charms are quite common. Seeking good luck on academic tests and challenges is similarly precedented. The science bunny reminded me of a rabbit’s foot: a common good luck charm. I don’t think A’s use of the science bunny was directly influenced by ideas of rabbits’ feet, but it’s interesting on a basis of convergent practices.

The idea that the bunny might absorb knowledge from observing labs and then return the knowledge to A and her friends is also interesting to me. Despite A not fully believing it this seems to be an instance of magic.

A finds meaning in this practice because it brings her closer to her friends. “It was kinda a thing we could all rally around.”

Kpop Pull Rituals


[i.e. having someone else pull K-pop merch for her as a lucky charm]

Alright, so if you listen to k-pop, and you buy something called, buy physical albums, they tend to come with physical inclusions that are more than just the CD or just like a small lyric book. There is usually a photoshoot book, sometimes there stickers, sometimes there’s like extra random like goods. But they almost always have something called a photocard which is like a small card that people like to um trade or buy after pulling it. It’s kind of like the same concept as a baseball card, for example, or Pokemon cards, where you basically, it’s like a gacha system where you can get one of the members in a group, or if it’s just a soloist then you just a soloist card. But there are generally different versions so collectors really like to collect all of them, similar to how like people like to collect all of the Pokemon cards or try to get certain rarities. 

So, in this case, what it means to be rare is to try to get the card that you want in particular, um which usually tends to be either a member you really like or a card from a set.

Um, so I guess in terms of like, ritualistic things that happen with this, I would say uh

one of my friends has really good luck with getting pulls that she wants and so recently, my friends have all been making her choose which albums we choose to purchase. Just because her, the chance of her getting the card we want has been… quite high in terms of like um which one what our pulls end up being. Most recently, she and I were getting the same album, but I wanted different cards from her. She didn’t really have a particular card she wanted, so she manifested for me instead. And I was wary, so I decided to switch the albums over. And the one she opened had all the cards that I wanted that she had originally given to me. So,…it’s been kind of interesting because if she is really sure about wanting a certain card, that card tends to appear. So um I guess that’s an example.


Context of Performance: In-person conversation

Me: Do you see any other cases of other K-Pop pull groups doing this, like having a specific lucky pull person?

Informant: um I have seen on like TikTok, that there’s this one guy who apparently. This one person’s boyfriend who also pulls what they want. I don’t know since I’m mostly referencing it from my group of friends.

Me: Do you think having her pull truly increases your chances?

Informant: I didn’t think so, but the coincidences have been kind of high as of late. She’s been able to get other people their pulls if she thinks hard enough about it. I don’t know if it’s really real or just a lot of coincidence, but it has happened enough that I’m suspicious.

Personal Thoughts:

The idea of having someone else participate in a heavily luck based thing is not unique to my informant’s experience, or K-pop pulls. There’s an entire genre of games referred to as Gacha games where players gamble to obtain playable characters. In addition, characters or other gamble-to-obtain items tend to be heavily objectified. In all heavily luck-based games there is a common thread of having someone else pull for you because they are luckier (an example is linked below). This is some that correlates with the past – for example gamblers having lucky rabbit’s feet. However this practice has also changed as we have moved into the modern era. Now, because we can SHARE our luck based experiences, people have lucky PEOPLE instead of lucky charms.

Additional Notes:

For another example of having a lucky person instead of a lucky charm:
Komemos. (2022, April 22). My best pulls ever???? Ayato and venti pulls … – youtube.com. Retrieved April 28, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGrNpwNzAq8