What is the meaning of the red chilli pepper pendant?
Did you know the famous red chilli charms you see on jewelry have a long and rich history.
It is true Italians love chillies and you often see red chillies threaded together and hung to dry out in houses and delicatessens. However, the famous little red chillies you see on jewelry are not actually chillies!
They are an ancient amulet for evil eye protection and good luck in Italy. Often reffered to as a cornicello, corno or an Italian horn.
RELATED: What Is A Cornicello
Although there is some debate if they are a phallic symbol of fertility or a bulls horn, the Italians have taken the concept of a lucky charm and elevated it to a cultural phenomena.
Red Cornicello Charms in Naples
It's easy to see how the red horns have been confused as chillies with their distinct red color and shape. Red in many cultures is seen as 'lucky'. The red color is both vibrant and striking in nature which adds to it's allure and attraction.
Dating back to thousands years. The earliest evidence of the red horns can be found in Pompeii. Fast forward two thousand years and the cornicello can be seen everywhere in Southern Italy with the lucky charm hung in homes, cars, workplaces and jewelry.
There are streets in Naples dedicated to the cornicello and tourists can buy many different variations of the Italian horn from pendants to horseshoes with hanging corni.
The Italians by nature are a superstitious bunch. Many traditions exist to protect against the malocchio - the Italian evil eye. Italians who aren't superstitious will have a portafortuna or lucky charm 'just in case'.
Whatever you believe the red amulets are know that you are wearing an ancient lucky charm that is sure to bring you good fortune!