Forget Rabbits’ Feet and Four-Leaf Clovers. Slip on Some Undies.

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9 Sep

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By Adam Welsch
Naomi & Nicole®

Have you been down on your luck recently?  Have the world’s economic problems hit you and your family particularly hard?  Are you having trouble finding your prince amidst a sea of frogs, or are you looking for a little extra assurance as you begin a new life with someone special?  Or, have you just found it impossible lately to hit a curveball?  Don’t reach for a worn out rabbit’s foot, wilted four-leaf clover, or rusty horseshoe.  These are easily lost, too fragile, or can set off a metal detector at the airport.  A better solution is on offer at your favorite lingerie department.  Many people believe that the best way to attract good fortune is to wear the right women’s undies.

Which color do you associate with good luck?

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Though the exact articles relied upon vary from place to place and person to person, the magical power of women’s underwear seems to be a concept shared across cultures.  In many parts of Latin America, for example, it’s widely believed that wearing yellow panties as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve brings wealth for the coming year.  And not just any yellow panties will do; they must be new ones.  For extra luck, they should also be received as a gift, and if one wants to pull out all the stops, they should be worn inside out.  It’s believed that yellow became the color of choice because it most resembles the color of gold.  The tradition is thought to have its origins in medieval Spain, where convention prohibited the wearing of brightly-colored clothes.  If one wanted to wear yellow for good luck, it had to be hidden from public view.

If you’re luck has been thin in matters of the heart, rather than those of the pocketbook, don’t worry.  There’s another undies solution available to you.  Many Latin Americans also believe that wearing new, red panties on New Year’s Eve brings romance for the coming year.

Take a walk down any busy commercial street in any many Latin American cities in late December and you’ll be struck by the number of yellow and red panties on display.  They’re not just sold in lingerie stores and intimates departments; you’ll find them at corner convenience stores, subway stops, and grocery stores too.

In Taiwan, women wear red undies, rather than yellow ones, at the turn of the Lunar New Year to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year.  In Chinese culture, red is held to represent loyalty, success, and happiness.  This tradition is so powerful that businesses report that 80% of their annual sales of underwear take place between December and the start of the Lunar New Year (in January or February, depending on the specific year).  Of that total, 40% is said to be red.  That’s a lot of red panties.

And don’t think that only women are benefiting from the good fortune associated with donning certain kinds of panties.  Colorado Rockies first baseman Jason Giambi, a Major League baseball player for the past fifteen years, has revealed that he wears a gold lamé, tiger-striped thong under his uniform when he’s trying to break out of a prolonged hitting slump.  He claims that it’s always worked for him.  In fact, when he was a member of the New York Yankees, several of his teammates borrowed it when they too were fighting through slumps.

Of course, panties aren’t believed to be harbingers of good fortune by everyone.  Many men in various Southeast Asian cultures believe that coming in contact with women’s panties can sap them of their power.  Since 2007, pro-democracy advocates around the world have tried to capitalize on the fact that members of Myanmar’s military junta share this belief.  As part of the Panties for Peace campaign launched by the women’s organization Lanna Action for Burma, supporters around the world have been encouraged to send their panties to Burmese embassies and consulates as a sign of protest.

Finally, lingerie superstitions aren’t confined to panties.  Think about garters.  It’s now customary for a groom to remove his bride’s garter after a wedding ceremony and fling it to his groomsmen.  Similar to the bouquet toss, tradition holds that the guy who catches the garter will be the next one to the altar.  Interestingly, it was the bride, not the groom, who originally tossed the garter.  Apparently, this tradition ended when brides became tired of fighting off drunken groomsmen who wanted to remove the garters themselves.

So, the next time life’s downs seem to be crowding out its ups, or you feel the need to buy a lottery ticket, make sure your top dresser drawer is fully stocked with some good-luck undies.  You’ll be able to slip some on, and ensure that good fortune follows you wherever you go – even through the airport.

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CC Image courtesy nblumhardt on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/nblumhardt// CC BY 2.0
CC Image courtesy Michael (mx5tx) on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/glasgows// CC BY 2.0

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