What's With The Name?
According to European legend, when crops were destroyed by swarms of aphids, the farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary to send help. It was then that these red bugs with black spots were seen, who ate the aphids and saved the crops. Hence, these were named 'Our Lady's beetles', and eventually came to be known as 'ladybugs'.
Of all the bugs that exist in this world, it is believed that no other bug would bring such a joy and curiosity in minds of people other than a ladybug. While scientifically, its bright red color is used to keep its predators away, for us humans, the magnificent color patterns with those adorable black dots happen to be one of the reasons why we feel so mesmerized by its presence. Watching this tiny little beetle crawl all around is a delight in itself.
►Popular Myths and Legends Associated with Ladybugs and Luck
What began with the European farmers has spread out to the entire world, and the western culture highly respects ladybug and takes its presence as a sign of luck, prosperity, and success. In fact, some people also associate its presence as a totem.
●The reason behind ladybugs being considered as a good luck charm is their association with the blessed Virgin Mary. As they are considered to be the result of the prayer that was done in Europe years before to save the crops, they are named after Mother Mary itself.
●If a ladybug is seen with seven spots, these spots are considered to be the seven sorrows/joys of Virgin Mary. To kill a ladybug is, therefore, considered to be bad luck because of its religious association. Alternately, the widespread belief of not killing it may be a step to flourish their population to save crops from pests such as aphids.
◣Time for Newness in Life
●In some cultures, it is believed that if a ladybug is seen sitting on an object, it is a sign that the very object will be replaced by a new and improved version. For instance, if you see a ladybug crawling on your car, consider that an upgrade is about to happen soon. Alternately, some sources state that if a ladybug comes to your house when a person is sick, it takes away the sickness in the house, which means that the person is renewed in a way.
◣Good Harvest or Famine
●Folks of Northern Germany consider the arrival of ladybugs to be both good and bad, depending upon the number of black spots on them. If the ladybug has less than 7 spots, it means that they will have a big harvest; however, if the spots are more than 7, it is a signal of a famine that is soon to come.
●In Sweden, it is believed that if a ladybug is found crawling on the hand of a young woman, it means that it is taking the measurement for wedding gloves, which indicates that the girl will be married in the near future. Similar is the belief in central Europe! In Burgundy, if a ladybug lands on a woman, the woman is asked to count the number of spots on the ladybug. That number is the same as the number of babies that woman will bear in her lifetime.
◣Fulfillment of Dreams
●In Canada, it is said that when a ladybug is found wintering in one's garage, it is an indication of good luck. It is also a common practice to hold the ladybug in one's hand and make a wish. The direction at which the ladybug flies is known to be the direction from which your wish will come true. Some sources also state that if a ladybug lands on your hand on a Sunday, and if it stays on your hand till you count 22, then good luck is on its way.
◣Good Wine and Weather
●The French believe that spotting a ladybug in their vineyard is a signal of good weather, which means good wine! In Australia too, ladybugs are considered to be the bringers of good weather. If you notice carefully, good weather and great harvest are interlinked with one another. And since these beetles are the answer to the farmers' prayers, they are considered highly auspicious in their eyes.
For those among you who seek a scientific and logical explanation in everything, ladybugs and various beliefs associated with them would be no less than a fairytale entertainment. But there also exist those who believe that there are miracles and mysterious powers in this world, who may actually consider these tiny adorable creatures to be a link to the Virgin Mary! Even in the modern world today, many people believe that ladybugs bring good luck, and therefore, you will find many people inking ladybug tattoos on themselves.