posted by M.L. Sanico

So, it’s obvious by now that Alex and I are on our way to Sin City. Did you know that  approximately 500,000 people fly between Hawaii and Las Vegas every year*? That’s a lot, like half the population of Oahu. It’s almost as if you’re not from Hawai’i unless you make the obligatory pilgrimage to Vegas at least once. Except everyone knows one person (aunty, cousin-in-law, calabash sister) who visits annually. In fact, I have relatives that go every six months and friends who got jobs at Hawaiian Airlines just so they could fly to Vegas for FREE! I’ve even heard of parents (like mine) telling their kids to work for Hawaiian Airlines so that THEY can go for free. Either way, Las Vegas has become so much a part of our local culture that the term “9th Island” isn’t even ironic or clever anymore, it’s just a given, especially with so many former residents living there.Musubi

When we told our parents we were going to take a last minute trip to Vegas my mother said, “Make sure you eat a spam musubi and a boiled egg at the airport!” Apparently one of her co-workers did that and both she and her husband hit royals. Then when we told our friends about our impending trip one of them said, “You have to wear red panties when you’re in the casino!”… somehow I don’t think I can convince Alex to do that.

Alex isn’t one to put much stock in lucky charms and rituals, and neither do I really, but I am constantly haunted by that old adage “you never know”. So I try these things and he kindly indulges me. I have my lucky frog, my lucky turtle, my maneki-neko and an amethyst crystal dangling from my purse, red panties (check!),  musubi and egg are ready to go… nevermind that I’ve done this all before to no avail on previous trips… because you never know! :/

Hawai’i’s Las Vegas expert and author, Kimo Akane, wrote an interesting article about Vegas superstitions. In addition to having a plethora of  Vegas inside information, he’s quite funny and writes for both Midweek and Oceanic’s news site .  I once heard someone say that you don’t need luck if you have knowledge, which more than anything, I believe to be true. Good thing we like books so much! Thankfully, it won’t be a literary-less trip. I plan to visit Bauman’s Rare Books at the Palazzo and a used book store or two to see if I can find any treasures, and one of the Clark County Public Libraries to check out their variety of Hawaiiana and make sure we’re properly represented!

 But I’m curious about other local-style good luck rituals that people have. What do you do before or during your Vegas visits? Where else in the United States would you hear someone say “eat a musubi for luck”? Our Las Vegas gambling superstitions are unique… a quirky part of our modern island culture. So tell me yours, or any odd ones you’ve heard of.  Just leave us a comment and maybe we can even test out a few!