A charm for good luck!

Looking among the common cultural elements among people of the wider East, we find that the habit of giving someone a charm is a common element among Greeks, Turks, Jews and Egyptians. In particular, the word charm comes from the Turkish word “ugur” or “ogur”, which means an object that brings good luck (Γούρια: Τι συμβολίζουν;, χ.η.).

Attracting luck has been a wishful thinking throughout the ages. People used and still use multiple ways to be lucky. Many try to gain the favor of fortune by using amulets. This is an ancient custom. The first form of sacred objects were talismans, with representations of nature and effigies of those who wore them (Γούρια: Τι συμβολίζουν;, χ.η.).

It is therefore a habit that finds its roots already in antiquity with the use of various objects as symbols of luck and continues to this day. Thus, the ancient Egyptians used charms as symbols of faith and luck and often accompanied the dead in their afterlife as a sign of recognition. Also, the ancient Greeks, on the other hand, used the pomegranate and specifically broke it at the threshold of the new house they were going to live in, to bring luck and prosperity. Already from the Homeric years there was the custom of breaking pomegranates for those who were preparing to live in a new house. The same happens even today in some regions of Greece it is customary to break a pomegranate every New Year with the change of time (Εσείς ξέρετε τι ιστορία έχει κάθε γούρι?, χ.η.).

During the Roman Empire, Christians, in order to recognize each other, had small fish hidden in their clothes for good luck and protection, while Jews wore around their necks carved objects with passages from Jewish law (Γούρια: Τι συμβολίζουν;, χ.η.).

Traveling in Turkey in all its lengths and widths you find everywhere souvenirs with pomegranates, blue eyes and various other objects, such as bells, beads, stones. Another particularly common item for good luck is a garlic chain. Through the well-known phrase “damn garlic”, probably arose the idea of creating an amulet that has a design of garlic, to protect and give luck to them and their families.

Today, it is customary during the days of the Christmas holidays to buy charms either for ourselves or for our loved ones wishing good luck, love and happiness for the new year. We also tend to offer charms as a gift for opening a business or for settling in a new home and generally for every new beginning someone makes.

They believe that charms should be made with care and harmony so that they can attract good forces according to their symbolism.

Photos by Chatzisavva Despoina
Γούρια: Τι συμβολίζουν; (χ.η.). Retrieved January 15, 2023 from
Εσείς ξέρετε τί ιστορία έχει κάθε γούρι? (χ.η.). Retrieved January 15, 2023 from