Symbolism: Why Is a Cricket a Sign of Good Luck?

Crickets are considered good luck in some Asian and Native American cultures.

1 Cricket Symbolism

Crickets have played a strong role throughout Chinese, Japanese and Native American cultures as a symbol of good fortune, vitality and prosperity. As far back as 500 B.C., people revered the song of the cricket and often kept crickets in cages to enjoy that song on a regular basis. In addition, crickets are valued as watch dogs and as natural clocks for timing a good harvest.

2 Crickets in Chinese History

Throughout Chinese history, crickets have symbolized wisdom and prosperity to the extent that a 2,000-year period of history is known as the Cricket Culture. Within this time frame, three specific eras celebrated various aspects of the cricket, including them being a sign of good luck and a spirit animal of omens in Chinese culture. In the first era, which lasted from 500 B.C. to 618 A.D., the singing of crickets was revered. During the Tang Dynasty in China, from 618 to 906 A.D., people began to keep crickets in cages in order to appreciate the sounds. Between 960 and 1278 A.D., cricket fighting became a popular pastime. Ancient Chinese literature is filled with songs and sayings about green crickets and other insects.

The spiritual meaning of crickets has been associated with other things besides a symbol of good luck. There are also superstitions surrounding crickets. Having a dream of crickets or seeing a black cricket has a symbolic meaning in different cultures to listen to your intuition. A dead cricket is a bad omen as it is bad luck to harm a cricket, as they are a symbol of prosperity.

3 Association with Material Prosperity

Crickets lay hundreds of eggs. Their fertility coincides with the traditional Chinese belief that having many children is a symbol of vitality and a requirement for financial success. In ancient times, farmers began preparing fields for spring harvest only after listening to the song of a cricket in order to take this leap of faith.

4 Cricket Singing

From nobleman and famous artists to peasant farmers and Buddhist monks, people throughout history have kept caged crickets to enjoy their chirping sounds in tune. Crickets chirp, or sing, by rubbing their wings together. Only the male cricket sings, often to attract a female or to fend off another male cricket. If you are hearing crickets, you can count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 37 to estimate the approximate outdoor temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

5 Crickets as Protectors

For generations throughout Chinese and Japanese history, crickets have been considered great protection because they stop singing when anyone or anything approaches. Middle Eastern and European craftsman commonly carved amulets and charms bearing images of crickets to fend off evil spirits. American colonial builders added a copper cricket to the weather vane on Boston’s Fanuel Hall as a symbol of protection.

6 Native American Totem

Crickets are considered good luck by most Native American tribes, including the Cherokee and Cheyenne. Cricket wisdom is said to represent joy, intuition and power of belief. A cricket’s ability to jump is said to offer the power to leap over a difficult situation. With the cricket as your totem animal, you can travel through darkness with sound.

7 Modern Day

There are many modern day examples of crickets, including the cricket on the hearth, cricket totems, the cricket spirit animal, and Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio.

Laura Derrington has written professionally since 1979 in advertising, marketing, public relations and magazine journalism. Her work has been published in "Guest Informant" and "Tennessee Business," as well as anonymously in publications on behalf of her clients. She has a Bachelor of Arts in magazine journalism from The University of Memphis.