Money has been celebrated, respected, yearned for thousands of years. Most of us never seem to have enough of it, it’s the subject of many a conversation (or argument) and it is hard to live without. In addition to its more traditional uses, here are 10 unusual, funny and downright strange money traditions and suspicions that may cause you to look at that pound, dollar or yen in your wallet in a different light.
The Tooth Fairy – Europe and Beyond
The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure that most children are introduced to from the moment their baby teeth start to fall out. According to folklore, the tooth fairy will pay a visit to any child who has placed a tooth beneath their pillow. In return for the tooth, the tooth fairy will leave a small coin. Children lose 20 teeth during their childhood so as you can imagine this can work out to be very lucrative, especially for the child who is good at saving!
Golden Dreams – Turkey
According to Turkish folklore, holding gold in your hand as you sleep will help you to attract more money in real life. Of course, you have to get your hands on some gold first! It is also said that an itchy left palm means you will soon receive money whilst an itchy right palm means you will parting with it.
The Money Dance – Poland, Ukraine, Greece
The money dance is thought to have originated in Poland at the start of the 20th century. This special dance usually occurs after a few drinks have been taken and everybody is in fine spirits. The event is announced by the best man or the DJ and it is usually customary for the best man and bride to start the dance. The male guests then begin to pin money onto the bride’s dress or she will carry a special purse for this purpose.
Lucky Money At Chinese New Year – China
In addition to the traditional of eating delicious dumplings to bring in the new year, Chinese children are also given money. The money is wrapped in red (a very lucky colour in China) paper or put in a red envelope and given to the children by parents and other elder relatives. As the red paper or envelope is a symbol of good luck, it does not matter how much money is inside. It is also not polite to open the envelope whilst the elder is present.
Sixpence In A Plum Pudding – UK
The plum pudding or Christmas pudding as it is otherwise known, is a dessert traditionally eaten in the UK after Christmas dinner. Putting a sixpence in the mix is a tradition that dates back hundreds of years and is said to bring good luck to the finder of the coin.
Never Empty Your Pockets – Greece
The Greeks believe that money attracts more money. That is why you will hardly find a Greek person with empty pockets or an empty purse. When giving somebody a new wallet, bag or purse, it is customary to include a few coins inside for good luck.
The Money Spider – UK
The origins of this superstition are unclear, but if you live in the UK you may have come across it. If you find a tiny spider crawling on you it is supposed to bring you good luck. Affectionately termed as money spiders, these tiny spiders should be carefully picked up and then placed on the finger. You should then circle your head three times to activate the luck.
Money On The Pavement – Argentina
In Argentina if you find money on the pavement it is supposed to be a sign that more money is on its way. However, it is also supposed to reverse that good luck if you spend the found money immediately.
The Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow – Ireland
It is thought this tradition originates from Ireland where it is believed the leprechauns place a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you have ever followed a rainbow you will know it is impossible, but it’s a great myth all the same.
Copper For Travel Sickness
It is thought that copper coins can ward off travel sickness when placed on the body or held in the hand. In fact, this may not be just a superstition or myth. It is now possible to buy copper motion sickness bracelets that prevent sickness from starting in the first place. It could be psychosomatic or it could have some medical truth. We say if it works for you do it.