What is the origin of fingers crossed gesture?
Fingers Crossed – It has been a tradition for many people to cross their fingers to wish themselves or other people good luck or hope for something positive during a certain situation.
Across the globe, this is recognized by different people from different cultures. Have you ever wondered how this gesture started and why it means good luck or a positive thing? Based on the article in Mental Floss, crossing fingers has a long history.
It was said that there are two main theories about how finger-crossing started to mean luck. The first theory is from a pre-Christian pagan belief in the powerful symbolism of a cross and the intersection was perceived to mark a concentration of good spirits. Then, this served to anchor a wish until it could come true.
It had been a practice in the early European cultures to wish upon a cross. Eventually, this evolved into a tradition. In this tradition, a person crosses the index finger over someone else’s to express hope that a wish will come true. Then, it evolved as people realized that they could do it alone without another person’s participation.
Initially, it was a person’s two index fingers forming the cross but eventually, this evolved into a one-hand gesture that is known today.
The second origin story also came from the early days of Christianity when believers were often persecuted because of their beliefs. Based on this theory, in order for Christians to know their fellow believers, they developed a series of hand gestures.
One of the gestures was forming ichthys, or fish symbol and this was done by touching thumbs and crossing index fingers. This symbol represented the acrostic in which the Greek letters i, ch, th, y, and s are also the first letters in the phrase Iēsous Christos, Theou Yios, Sōtēr. In English means “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.”
Although the second theory does not fully explain why the fingers crossed gesture was associated with luck, it is perceived that the crossed fingers imparted a blessing or hope for a wish or prayer.
Aside from this tradition, people also have weird New Year traditions all over the world.