Crickets seem to be an almost forgotten good luck symbol. They certainly have been a symbol of luck and are still loved by many.
This may be because it is believe that crickets made us happy. The cheerful chirp does magical wonders on humans making them in a happy mood.
In fact many say that the gods or God sent us the cricket to remind us to be happy. A happy person surely has a good life!
William Shakespeare was familiar with crickets being associated with happiness. In scene IV of his play Henry IV Prince Henry asks Poins “Shall we be merry?” Poins answers “As merry as crickets, my lad.”
Wealth and Good Fortune
In many countries around the world the cricket is a symbol of wealth and good luck. It was believed in many places in Europe that the cricket brought with it a promise of good fortune and riches coming to the family. Some still insist wearing a cricket amulet or charm will increase the attraction of wealth.
Having a cricket in the kitchen or near the hearth is especially lucky and is said to bring good fortune to the home.
“It’s merrier than ever tonight, I think.” “And it’s sure to bring us good fortune; John! It always has done so.
To have a cricket on the hearth is the luckiest thing in the world!” Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the Hearth (1846)
In Ireland many considered them household spirits and very wise. It was most unfortunate to speak badly of the crickets as they understood all that was said. You did not want to offend them.
In Ireland and parts of the United States crickets were called “Old Folks”. There was a superstition that they were hundreds of years old. They could tell you about all that had happened and the history of their home. That is if you could understand their chirping.
Their singing also kept the fairies away during the night. It was considered a soothing sound and all could sleep safely.
Symbol of Life
The Chinese observed that the crickets lay their eggs in the soil and lives underground as lava. They then emerge and transform into the imago. This was earlier seen as the three fold symbol of life, death and resurrection.
It is only the male crickets who continuously produce the enjoyable chirp by rubbing their wings together. The left forewing has lots of “teeth”, sort of like a comb.
When the left forewing is rubbed against the right forewing they produce the famous and well-known chirp. The male credits do this for love; to attract female crickets. They may produce their “music” for hours and hours.
Crickets Guarding the Home
In China it was quite common to keep crickets in small cages. These insects did a wonderful job as “watch dogs”. Their load singing was a sign that all was safe and good. The crickets knew its human family and friends.
If a stranger came to the house during the night the crickets stopped singing. The sudden silence would wake up the family members. This was a warning that someone was approaching that did not belong to the household.
In ancient Greece the cricket was sacred to Apollo. Apollo was the god of music, fortune telling, the sun and healing.
Crickets have throughout history been a lucky insect to have in the kitchen. Lately it seems that they are returning to the kitchen.
More and more people have become aware of the nutrition side of the matter. People in Asia seem to love them. An increasing number of people in the West are also getting into eating insects.
Millions today seem to think that it is luckier to have a cricket on their plate than on the hearth.