In religion and mythology
In Hindu mythology, an owl is described as the vahana of Goddess Lakshmi, the Hindu God of wealth and prosperity.
In some parts of India, the bird (along with white bats) is sacrificed during Diwali to please Goddess Lakshmi. (Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051030/ldh1.htm)
In spite of its association with Goddess Lakshmi, owls are considered by some as bad omen and a messenger of ill-luck.