Good luck tattoos aren’t just for gamblers and prisoners, both women and men has worn and cherished them for many years. Throughout different cultures, luck is represented through different images, animals, and symbols.
Good luck tattoos are not just for the superstitious, but they represent your hopes for the future. There is no right or wrong way to represent good luck, it could be one of the designs from our article, or something with personal meaning to you.
From lucky numbers to lucky animals, fortune will be sure to follow you when you get a good lucky tattoo. Here are some of our favorite good luck tattoo designs and the meaning behind them.
Japanese Good Luck Tattoo Designs
Daikoku Tattoo Design
In Japan, there are seven gods of good luck and fortune. Daikoku is one of them, originating in Hindu beliefs. A Daikoku mask is mainly known to ward off evil spirits and brings in good luck. A Daikoku tattoo symbolizes prosperity, optimism and good fortune.
Ebisu Tattoo Design
Another of the gods of luck is Ebisu. Originating from Shinto religion, he is one of the few gods indigenous to Japan. Because he is unique to Japanese culture and religion, he is one of the most popular images. Representing wealth and good fortune, his smiley face is commonly seen in restaurants, retailers and religious shrines.
Fudo Myoo Tattoo Design
Fudo Myoo is a God in Buddhist. Fudo Myoo is part of a group of powerful deities known as the Five Bright Kings. His features may look frightening, but he is actually a protective figure. Known as The Immovable One, getting a tattoo of him is thought to bring good fortune and prosperity, as well as protecting the wearer from evil forces.
Hyottoko Mask Tattoo Design
Hyottoko, in Japanese mythology, knows how to turn darkness into light. This comical Japanese character wears a mask and has a puckered mouth. He has different eye sizes and has a face that is skewed to one side. This comedic character is known to bring prosperity and good luck to your life.
Japanese Dragon Tattoos
One of the most important symbols in Japanese tattoo tradition is the dragon. Popular in tattoo parlors around the world, it’s a vibrant and fierce design. The dragon holds a number of meanings including luck, longevity, prosperity and power.
Japanese Snake Tattoos
Japanese snake tattoos are another popular design in Japanese tattooing. Known as hebi, they are seen as being beautiful creatures, unlike in the west where they are considered more frightening. White snakes signify good luck, if you see one in real life, good luck will be bestowed upon you. This is because snakes will protect your garden from dangerous creatures.
Egyptian Good Luck Tattoo Designs
The scarab, in ancient Egypt, is the symbol for life, death and transformation. It is one of the most recognisable and powerful amulets in Egypt due to its luck, influence, and power. It represented the ideal of metamorphosis and immortality, as well as symbolizing the cycle of life.
Eye of Horus Tattoo
The eye of Horus tattoo represents good health, good luck and protection. The left eye belonged to Horus, the God of the Sky, who gave it away to save his father Osiris. It is said to have restoration and healing powers and was used as a medical tool in Ancient Egyptian times. It is usually in green, a shade which represents resurrection and knowledge.
Ouroboros represents the sun in Ancient Egyptian culture. The symbol represents rebirth, good luck and good health. The image of a snake or dragon eating its own tail also symbolizes the circle of life and eternity. This tattoo is believed to bring the wearers a long and lucky life.
Did you know:
The symbol for infinity originated from the ouroboros.
Italian Good Luck Tattoo Designs
Ladbugs are thought to bring good luck in Italian culture. The red color has deep links to the church, with their distinctive spots representing the even sorrows of the Virgin Mary. In some cultures, seeing a ladybug indicates that the weather will be good, and you will soon be lucky in love. Killing a ladybug is very unlucky and should never be done.
The cornetto is a horn or chili pepper shape often found in Southern Italy. In Calabria and Naples, the cornetto is worn as a charm, hung in rearview mirrors or in shops to bring good luck. It’s luckiest when in red, which represents the blood on your enemy, and topped with a crown. The phallic shape is brought to bring fertility to women, as well as bringing fortune and luck.
The Gobbo is a powerful tattoo to get for gamblers, as well as anyone looking for some luck in the financial department. He is depicted as a hunchback man with one horn leg and often wears a top hat. Gamblers would rub the hump the Gobbo’s back for good luck. He is usually combined with a hollowed cornetto for double the fortune.
Irish Good Luck Tattoo Designs
Four Leaf Cloves
Four-leaf clovers are incredibly rare to find, which is why they have been considered lucky since ancient druid times. It is believed when you find a four-leaf clover, you also wield the power of great fortune. Each leaf is said to represent fame, wealth, love, and health.
The three-leaf clover is often known as a Shamrock. The celts believed that the most treasured belongings came in groups of three, or multiples of three. St. Patrick depicted the shamrock as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, and has long been considered a symbol of luck. Each leaf stands for faith, hope and love.
The horseshoe is one of the most recognizable good luck charms in Ireland, and around the world. Horses are strong and durable, considered greatly dependable and loyal. People would keep use horseshoes as a charm to attract fertility, fortune, and good luck. Horseshoes were also thought to keep mischievous fairies away as they couldn’t stand iron.
The Green Man Tattoo
The Green Man is traditionally depicted as a head of a wide man with green foliage all around his head. Some believe the image of leprechauns stem from The Green Man. The Green Man is used to represent the arrival of Spring, which was marked by the green vegetation that surround him.
Sailor Good Luck Tattoo Designs
Tattoos were also seen as lucky for sailors. They would usually tattoo a nautical star for good luck. The North Star represents a signal that they were nearing home to be safe with their friends and family.
Dolphins are very lucky for sailors. When they saw a dolphin, it meant they were close to and that good fortune was upcoming. Dolphins are considered to be the protectors of people when at sea.
Cormorants, in Scandinavian sailor culture, are considered a good omen. In Norwegian traditions, the spirts of those who have been lost at sea visit their loved ones as cormorants.
Did you know:
In Ireland, seeing a cormorant perched atop a church steeple is a bad omen.
Chinese Good Luck Tattoo Designs
Lucky Cat Tattoo
Although Japanese, the lucky cat is more popular in Chinese culture. It’s often placed in the entrance to businesses like trailers and restaurants to bring good luck. It’s usually white, black, gold and sometimes red and holds a coin to bring good luck and wealth. In Japan, keeping a lucky cat in a bedroom or place of study can bring good favor and success in life.
Money Tree Tattoo
The Malabar chestnut tree has become known as the money tree in East Asian culture. The money tree is thought to bring good fortune and luck to anyone who places it in the home or business. This tree has a distinctive five-leave stem, which will then double or triple.
Did you know:
This symbol became popular in 1986, when a Taiwanese truck driver braided the trunks of five money tree that were planted into a single pot.
Chinese Knot Tattoo
A Chinese knot consists of a cord, knot and a tassel, all made using a single piece of thread. Chinese knots are usually red, symbolizing good luck and prosperity. The knot is used to ward off evil spirits or to bring good luck to a marriage.
Did you know:
Chinese knotting is a folk art which dates back to the Tang industry.
Chinese Dragon Tattoo
The dragon is a symbol of power, good luck, and strength in China. The Emperor of China used to wear the dragon as a symbol of imperial power and strength. As eyes are the window to soul, it is unlucky to tattoo the eyes until the whole piece has finished. It is believed that the dragon will feel the pain of getting tattooed once it has eyes, and thus a soul.
Laughing Buddha Tattoo
The celestial Buddha known as Pu-Tai is generally depicted as an obese, bald man with prayer beads. His large stomach and jolly smile mean many consider him a symbol of good luck, happiness and abundance. He is thought to give all his precious items to the poor, weak and to children.
Also Read: 30 Best Buddha Tattoo Designs & Meanings
Chinese Good Luck Fish Tattoo
There are many reasons why fish are considered in lucky in China. Fish are seen to be a sign of wealth because the Chinese for fish sounds a lot like surplus. Fish can grow to old age, serving as a symbol for longevity. They also are a sign of unity and fidelity because they often swim together in pairs.
Good Luck Tattoos: More FAQ
What colors are lucky?
Colors hold great meaning in cultures around the world. Adding certain lucky colors can further add meaning to your good luck tattoo designs.
Red in Chinese culture represents happiness, success, and good fortune. Red is the national color of China, symbolizing happiness, good luck, and success. You’ll often see red used during festivals and weddings in China.
Did you know:
On the first day of Chinese New York, Nian would prey on villagers, eating their livestock and crops. The color red scared him away. Since then, red lanterns and scrolls have always been hung from windows and doors.
In the UK, green is considered very lucky because it is associated with the Irish. From four-leaf clovers to leprechauns, the luck of the Irish and the color green are closely associated. In Islam, the green man is the patron of travelers and a symbol of good luck.
Orange is a lucky color in India. Orange symbolizes the god of fire, Agni, and represents divine knowledge in the Hindu religions. Agni is the primary witness at all Hindu weddings, and orange is heavily featured in ceremonies for good luck.
What numbers are lucky?
Different numbers symbolize different things around the world. Many people are personal lucky numbers that symbolize a date where something good happened to them (wedding date, birthday, or birth of a child, for example). Here are lucky numbers and their meanings around the world.
- The Number 7 is lucky in the Western world, but it is unlucky in Chinese influenced cultures. In China, the 7th month (July) is used to pay respect to the dead.
- Number 13 is lucky in Italy because he represents St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost people. It is very unlucky in other Western countries as it regularly appears connected to grim events.
- Number 4 is lucky in Germany but unlucky in Chinese or Japanese influenced cultures. This is because the pronunciation of the word four is similar to that of death.
- Number 8 is lucky in China and Japan, this is because is sounds similar to the word Chinese word for prosper. 8 is unlucky in India because it’s the number of Sani, a peace breaker.
Did you know:
In Russia even numbers are lucky. You can only bring even numbers of flowers to a funeral.
What animals symbolize good luck?
Whilst owls are considered bad luck, there are many animals which are considered lucky around the world.
In Western culture, the rabbit is a symbol of fertility and prosperity. Gamblers have been known to carry a rabbit’s foot as a good luck charm.
The cricket is one of the most popular good luck animals in Chinese culture. In Europe, a cricket can attract good fortune and wealth to a family. The frog is also believed to bring prosperity and fortune in Chinese tradition.
What tattoos are considered bad luck?
For every tattoo that symbolizes good luck, there are many that are considered bad luck omens. Before getting a tattoo, it is worth checking what history and significance it has in cultures around the world.
Upside down horseshoe. The horseshoe is known for being a symbol of luck, but the ends should never point down. The luck is thought to fall out of the upside-down horseshoe.
The Valknut consists of three interlocked triangles and is known as the death knot. It is one of Odin’s symbols for dead and is associated with the battle slain. It is a symbol that should be taken lightly.
Black cat tattoos have long been associated with bad luck. In the Middle Ages they were thought to be messengers of the Devil. Superstitious tattoo artists may be hesitant to ink a blank cat onto you.
An upside cross is associated with Satanism and anti-Christian views. Some people get it because it looks cool, or so they can see it without looking in a mirror, but it may give people the wrong impression.
Do odd numbered tattoos bring good luck?
Yes, even numbers are considered unlucky whilst odd numbers bring good luck. There are many traditions and legends behind the reasons. Some say it was started by Indians who tattooed their body for war, others believe it goes back to old sailor tradition.
It is believed that in the 17th century, a ship sank and all the pirates on board had an even number of tattoos. All those who survived the shipwreck had an odd number of tattoos. Others connect this myth with the number of the beast being 666.
Why are fingers crossed considered lucky?
Crossing fingers has been used as a gesture of good luck for many years in the Western world. This tradition is thought to represent the Christian cross and stems from people praying to a cross. Although alternate theories say that the symbol pre-dates Christian times, where the cross was a symbol of unit and benign spirits dwelled at the intersection.