Lucky charm

by Lorraine Buxton

Throughout Europe and America, horseshoes are often seen as a sign of good luck and are frequently seen nailed to doors or worn as jewellery.

There are many theories as to why the horseshoe is seen as a symbol of good luck: firstly, if the shoe is hung the correct way it is said that it will retain the ‘luck’ – so the shape of the horseshoe is an important factor. Iron is said to have magical powers and in ancient folklore it was used to ward off evil faeries.

Secondly, the main theory dates back to the 10th century, when Saint Dunstan was told to re-shoe the devil’s hoof, which was causing him immeasurable pain. The saint agreed to remove the shoe if only the devil agreed to stay away from houses which had a horseshoe on the door.

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