Elephants are Lucky (Post No.5544)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 15 October 2018


Time uploaded in London – 19-54

(British Summer Time)


Post No. 5544



Pictures shown here are taken from various sources including google, Wikipedia, Facebook friends and newspapers. This is a non- commercial blog.

In India people believe seeing elephants in person or in dream is a lucky sign. In Kerala,hair from elephant tail is used as a talisman. Mothers of Buddha and Mahavira dreamt of elephant before the great people were born. Elephant is an auspicious symbol.

It is very interesting to see the beliefs of European’s though it is a tropical animal native of Asia and Africa.


Here are some excerpts from magazines and books:-

1953 Folklore (Westmorland) says,
Elephants are lucky.
1957 Folklore says,
I was once at a marriage in Morecambe, Lancashire, when the bride groom met such a beast as he drove to church and afterwards received numerous congratulations on his singular good fortune.

1974 D Scannel, Mother knew Best, says,
Everyone knew that an elephant’s hair bracelet was lucky.

1957, Woman’s Own 4 April,
I have two small ebony elephants which I kept on the mantelpiece, but they did not bring any luck. Then a friend told me that elephants should always face the door. I moved them the next day and our happiness, health and luck really seem to have changed for better.

1969 Folklore,
If you own a drawing or a carving of an elephant, it must always be so placed in the room that its head is facing the door.

1970 Folklore,
It is a superstition in my family (East London/Essex ) that any ornament that has a face should be so placed that it is facing the door by which one would normally enters the room…..it was suggested that the death of my father in 1967 was affected or portended by an ornament being accidentally turned round some weeks earlier.

1984 Woman (Hawk Hurst, Kent),
I know people who have elephants in the room always face them to the door as they get wild if they do not know what is going on.

Elephants came to Europe only 2000 years ago but they knew about the elephants even before that due to Persian and Greek invasions.

It is strange to read how the belief or superstition about elephant toys spread there .

Elephant has positive symbolic associations.

A white elephant announced the birth of Gautama Buddha. Hindus worship elephant headed Ganesh before venturing into new business.
Elephant seals are discovered in Indus- Saraswati River civilisation .

In the Christian imagery of Physiologus of late antiquity, the elephants chastity is celebrated . It will procreate only after eating Mandrake root. The same sources say that female elephants give birth in marsh lands and the male elephants protect them from snakes.


The ancient Chinese also lauded the chastity of the elephants.

White elephants are considered lucky because they were the vehicles of Vedic god Indra. In the old Thailand/ Siam white elephant was used in the royal emblem. Indra’s elephant is called Airavata.
South Indian Hindu temples have eight elephants sculpted around the sanctum sanctorum. Those eight elephants guard the earth in eight directions.
The Chinese phrase ‘to ride on an elephant’ means Happiness.

Indian Folklore and anecdotes about the amazing memory of elephants are well known. ( I have already umpteen anecdotes about the Memory of Elephants)

Xxx Subham xxx

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