Let’s just say it has something to do with graveyards.
Ever wonder why a rabbit’s foot was considered lucky? Well, be warned, it’s creepy AF.
The Celts first associated rabbits (the whole rabbit, not just it’s severed foot) with good luck back in 600 B.C. Since rabbits live underground in burrows, it was believed they could communicate with the spirits of the underworld.
So, how exactly did carrying the dismembered limb of a rabbit become, you know, a thing?
Although the superstition of rabbit’s feet being associated with luck has some roots in European culture, the common North American myth originates from the African-American folk spirituality known as hoodoo. It’s said that rabbit’s feet are lucky because of their reproductive habits, so carrying a rabbit’s foot was thought to help with fertility.
There are, however, a few specifications the rabbit’s foot must adhere to in order to technically be considered lucky:
1. It has to be the left hind foot.
2. The rabbit needs to have been captured or killed in a cemetery.
3. The rabbit’s foot needs to be cut off on a specific day—usually a Friday, but with variations such as the weather, date, etc.
But wait—there’s more.
According to Folklorist Bill Ellis, some believed the foot would be more powerful if the rabbit was killed on an actual grave—the meaner the person, the luckier the foot.
A common misbelief about lucky rabbit’s feet is that their origin has something to do with Easter, which celebrates the Christian belief of the resurrection of Jesus. The holiday actually adopted the mindset of the rabbit being worshiped as a fertility goddess from older European traditions.
So, is that pink, lucky rabbit’s foot keychain you got from a vending machine really the amputated hind leg of an adorable furry creature killed in a cemetery?
Probably not. These days, most of the so-called “rabbit’s feet” are actually impostors made from latex covered in dyed, fake fur.
But don’t worry. The fact that your lucky rabbit’s foot didn’t come from a live rabbit doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t lucky.
A rabbit’s foot is still considered a token of good luck because it reminds its owner to be courageous in adverse situations. Today, it’s more about the symbolism of what the so-called lucky rabbit’s foot represents than all the lore surrounding its origins.