Horseshoes have long been popular in folk magic as an instrument of bringing the owner good luck—provided the object is worn out and found, rather than new and purchased.

In some countries the horseshoe is hung with the open end downward as a fertility symbol, but in Ireland, Britain, and the United States it is commonly hung with the open end pointing upward, so luck won't run out. A great debate rages: should a horseshoe be hung with its ends pointing downward, so luck can pour out in a steady, unending stream, or is it better placed upward, to collect, store, and bestow luck?

In Italy, a horseshoe is hung by the door, not above the door, as it is elsewhere, so it can be touched by whomever passes over a threshold. In Mexico, horseshoes are wrapped up in bright colored threads. In Turkey, horseshoe charms are manufactured to help ward off the evil eye.

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