Humans have always been fascinated by the notion of wishing. Blowing out birthday candles or breaking the wishbone of a cooked turkey, tossing out a coin in the fountain or finding a four leaf clover, we all believe in something. We have culled out some interesting destinations, which have their own interesting wishing traditions to make your travel even more alluring. Explore the unique ways of symbolising hope and participate in these traditions that gets you a wee bit closer to achieving your dream.
Throwing Coins in the Trevi Fountain Where : Rome, Italy
Fontana di Trevi, better known to most of us as Trevi Fountain, is Rome’s most spectacular and popular fountain. There are more than one variation on the coin throwing story, most popular being that throwing a coin from your right hand backwards over your left shoulder will ensure a definite return to Rome. A newer story also routinely makes the rounds that says throwing one coin means a return to Rome, a second coin leads to a new romance, and a third coin leads to marriage.
Put a Love lock in the city of love Where : Paris, France
Among the must-dos for visitors to the French capital: ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, pay homage at the Louvre and seal your love with a Master Lock. In Paris, lovers attach padlocks to the bridges overlooking the Seine and throw the keys into the water to symbolize their commitment to each other. The belief is that your relationship will last until the lock is opened, so be sure that’s what you wish for before you send that key to the bottom of the river!
Hammering a coin in Wish Tree Where : Scottish Highlands
A coin tree is exactly what it sounds like: a tree which has had coins pushed into the bark. This tradition dates back to the 1700s and even Queen Victoria wrote in her diary about visiting an oak tree with coins stuck in it. But be sure to hammer a pence in some seldom visited areas because it’s said that if someone removes your coin, your fortunes will change for the worse.
Writing on Wishing Wall Where : Israel, Jerusalem
It is a Jewish belief that the Holy Presence has never left the Western Wall, hence the visitors will notice thousands of tiny pieces of paper stuck deep within the crevices between the large stones. People place a note with a personal message to God like prayers. For believers of all religions, it serves as a direct link to God and way of paying thanks, saying grace, confessing sins or making atonement and making special requests for the health and well being of loved ones.
Throwing coin in wishing Cave Where : Lebanon
In this Lebanon’s underground jewel, visitors make a wish by throwing coins in different pools and it is believed that different pools will lead to different fortunes. While well-known in Lebanon and the Middle East, Jeita Grotto is currently competing for a place on the world stage as one of 28 finalists in the New 7 Wonders of Nature contest. Well, a genie sure exists in this epitome of beauty!
Flying Paper Cranes Where : Japan
In traditional Japanese couture, it’s believed that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some legends say that you are granted eternal good luck, not just one wish. This makes the act of giving one thousand cranes to a sick friend or family member common in Japanese history. It’s not difficult to make origami so bring out the artist in you as you learn Japanese art while being granted a wish.
Wishing Well Where: Upwey, Australia
Wishing Well at Upwey is a natural spring and source of the River Wey. Visitors would often participate in the ritual by taking a few sips of well water from a glass. And throwing the rest of the water backwards over their left shoulder while wishing. The Wishing Well waters are thought to also have healing properties especially for the sore eyes. For all those who do not believe, there’s no harm trying.
Lam Tsuen Wishing Tree
Legend has it that if someone gets a bundle of bright red papers caught in its branches, they will be granted a wish. Owing to its magic, this tree has earned a nickname — the Wishing Tree. Towering at the entrance of Fong Ma Po in Hong Kong, the Wishing Tree is covered in a deep crimson colour all year round. Wish-makers write their wishes on red paper “josses”, which are offerings dedicated to Chinese deities.