The world’s most auspicious sites and traditions are not limited to a few boozy festivals – or a particular calendar date. All year long, travelers court lady luck by throwing coins, rubbing statues and commemorating potholes from here to Hangzhou.
Paris, France: Victor Noir's Tomb
Pere Lachaise Cemetery may not seem like the most romantic place in Paris, but the 1804 burial ground is home to a longstanding fertility symbol. Victor Noir, a journalist killed in a political dispute with Napoleon’s nephew in 1870, is commemorated in a bronze statue created by sculptor Jules Dalou. The reclining likeness of the fallen writer has a rather, um, notable protrusion below the belt. As a result, generations of lovelorn Parisians have journeyed to Noir’s final resting place to touch said bulge, believing the act will improve their likelihood to conceive and, in some circumstances, guarantee a marriage proposal within the year. Hey, it’s a lot less embarrassing than auditioning for The Bachelor, n’est-ce pas?
Springfield, Illinois: Lincoln's Tomb
Death has not been easy for America’s 16th president. Multiple burglars have tried to steal his remains, and, in 2011, a series of copper thefts in the Springfield area included the pilfering of a three-foot sculpted sword atop his mausoleum. Time has also taken its toll on the bronze bust of Lincoln himself that adorns the 1874 granite tomb. Travelers believe that rubbing Lincoln’s nose brings good fortune, bestowing it with superstitious properties and a glinting gold sheen.
Machu Picchu, Peru: Intihuatana Stone
Constructed by the Inca in the 15th century, on a peak nearly 8,000 feet above sea level, Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most inspiring places. Archeologists believe its Intihuatana Stone is an ancient horological device, linked to summer and winter solstices. Travelers who trek Machu Picchu now press their foreheads onto the stone, believing the act grants them shamanic vision and access to the spirit world.
This story originally appeared on Jetsetter