Swans were thought to be birds of good fortune in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, maybe even religious ladies under spells. Excellent fortune to those who mistreated or wounded a swan... and, in the instance of one good wife, good fortune to those who cared. In Ireland, cranes were used instead.
These days, people more often see swans as a sign of peace rather than prosperity but they're still regarded as important by some cultures. For example, among the Aranda people of Australia's Northern Territory, certain swans are associated with death but otherswans are believed to bring good luck if they fly into a village.
Also in Australia, among the Ngadjonjara tribe, it is traditional for the young men to go out hunting swans. When they find a group, they shoot at them until all are killed. Then the hunters collect the feathers from each bird and burn them so that only good luck will remain.
In North America, too, swans are considered to be good luck if you catch them alive. If not, their luck will run out eventually anyway when you release them so there's no need to kill them.
And now we come to Europe where people used to believe that if you saw a white swan you would never die alone.
Swans are protected birds in the United Kingdom, and it is considered unlucky to hurt them. Furthermore, a swan cannot hatch its eggs until there is a storm, and in Scotland, three swans flying together is considered an omen of impending doom.
In Europe, people used to think that if you killed a swan, then your wife would be married to another man by year's end. This belief still exists in parts of Germany and France. There is also a German superstition that if you shoot at a swan, then your wife or girlfriend is going to marry someone else.
In Russia, Portugal, and Spain, killing a swan is forbidden because they are sacred animals that symbolize loyalty and love. Also, in Russia, breaking a swan's leg will bring you misfortune; in Portugal, if you kill a swan, you must pay a fine. In Spain, if you kill a swan, we'll have to kill you!
In China, Japan, and South Korea, swans are believed to bring good fortune. A blood sacrifice is needed to release the bird's spirit from its body. This practice still exists in Vietnam. In Japan, people use wings from swans to make gifts for others or to put into desserts because it is believed that the bird's spirit will help them find happiness.
These black swan occurrences, believe it or not, aren't the result of pure chance; they're not as random as we'd like to believe. It's only a matter of being open to them. And, clearly, we'd want to attract positive black swans—those that draw unusual bursts of exceptional good fortune—rather than the opposite. Out of every hundred eggs, maybe two will turn out to be swans. But because swans are such rare birds, even those few eggs represent an incredible amount of luck.
Black swans were originally called "oontz-oontz" trees because Indians would warn each other of their presence by calling out "Oon-toont-oo-tee-ooh!" which means "There is a black swan on the river."
People have always believed that if you see a swan you're going to win money or something great is going to happen to you. This isn't true at all! Swans are very rare birds that only exist in certain parts of the world where there are large bodies of water. So actually seeing one mean you've won the lottery or something similar!
The term "black swan event" was first used by financial analyst John Maynard Keynes to describe a major unexpected occurrence that produces a significant impact despite its rarity.
Birds that bring good fortune
The poem's most prevalent symbols are swans. Despite all that has happened in the speaker's life, they have remained constant. Swans also represent beauty, elegance, and vitality, and the poem elevates them to mythological stature, depicting them as celestial beings unaffected by time and immune to sorrow and tiredness.
The poem begins with a description of the Irish Sea (where Coole Park is located) at night. This serves as a prelude or overture that introduces all the main characters and themes in the poem.
The Wild Swans of Coole are three beautiful white swans that live in a lake near Coole Park in Ireland. The poem's speaker, a young man named John Clare, lives in nearby Assington. He falls in love with a girl named Lucy but she loves another man so he decides not to pursue her. Heartbroken, he goes to Coole Park and watches the swans for hours until he falls asleep. When he wakes up, he finds that several years have passed and the Swans are still there. Enchanted by their beauty, he decides to write a poem about them.
Clare's poem is titled "The Wild Swans of Coole" and it is considered one of the best poems written about nature. It was published in 1821 in London when Clare was only twenty-one years old.
Are Sparrows Lucky? Sparrows are considered lucky in many cultures. The sparrow is an auspicious emblem of happiness and the arrival of spring in Chinese culture, while in Indonesian folklore, sparrows represent birth, marriage, rain, and other good things. Sparrows have been associated with happiness since ancient times.
Sparrows have been known to bring good fortune since at least the time of Aristotle. He wrote that if you kill a sparrow by mistake as it flying across your path, you will be punished by death, but if you mean it harm, then it is a messenger from heaven who will escape unharmed. This shows that even though birds may look innocent, they are not! If you do not want to be cursed, then do not harass or kill sparrows.
In the Western world, if you feed a sparrow, you will always get more luck than if you feed a cat. This belief comes from the fact that when we were children, we often saw hungry cats outside our house looking for food, while sparrows would come to eat out of our hands every day. We assumed that because they used to visit us, they must be lucky animals.
Swans are members of the Anatidae family and the genus Cygnus. Swans typically mate for life, however "divorce" does occur occasionally, particularly after nesting failure, and if a mate dies, the remaining swan will mate with another. This is called automictic reproduction.
All swans are white with black heads and feet. They also have long, thin bills and erectile feathers on the end of their tails used in display behavior. The term "cygne" means swan in Greek.
There are three main species of cygnus: the mute swan, whoaering crane, and great crested grebe. Mute swans were originally called "Cygnet" and whoarings were called "Cranes". Today these birds are all referred to as "cygnus". There are approximately 1 million mute swans and whoarings and 5 million great crested grebes worldwide. That's about 1 in 100 people!
Mute swans live mostly in Europe but also in North America. Whoarings are found in Africa and Asia. Great crested grebes are found in Europe and Asia where they live in lakes and rivers.
These birds migrate to warmer places in winter. The mute swan migrates to southern France while the whooper crane goes as far as India.