Do you live your life avoiding walking over cracks in the pavement or walking under ladders? How about searching for the second magpie after seeing just the one or wanting to cry for breaking a mirror? Well if so, you’re not alone or crazy! Having a superstition is common amongst us all wherever we are in the world and we all try to avoid doing certain things…just in case!
Did you know that there’s not one, but two, Friday 13th’s this year? Superstition dates back to early Ancient times and have somehow been passed on over centuries and generations.
Here are some of the more common and our favourite superstitions…
Walking under ladders is probably one of the most established forms of superstition, but why do we go out of way to avoid it? Well, it originates back to the early Christian teachings, where an object that has three points, represents the Holy Trinity, which is the case when a ladder is leaning against the wall. They believed that, if you were to walk under a ladder, then you would have been labelled as being a witch and in the same league as the Devil, something we don’t want!
Breaking a mirror is said to give you seven years bad luck. We all know that when we look into a mirror, we see our reflection; therefore, if the mirror was to break, it doesn’t just shatter our reflection but our soul too.
Throwing salt over your left shoulder should be immediate, if any has been spilt, in order to keep the devil away. Remember, the left shoulder is supposedly where the devil sits.
We’ve all been told not to open an umbrella indoors, but what is the big problem with doing it? The Ancient Egyptians used umbrellas for the opposite reason to how we use them now. They were simply for sun protection and the Egyptians feared that they would be punished with bad luck by the sun God – Ra if they were to be opened indoors.
Have you even been shouted at for putting shoes on a table? Did you just think it was because you would leave marks or make the table dirty? How about this for a superstitious myth…putting shoes on a table is a resemblance of death?
Miners work boots were placed on a table of their family as a symbol to say they have died. Also, back in the day when criminals were hanged, the table represents the final platform before being suspended.
Cross your fingers when passing someone on the stairs to avoid any bad luck and remember to salute a magpie if you see one.
Not all superstitions are bad! There are a fair few lucky ones too…
You’ll see in people’s homes that there may be a horseshoe hanging above the door, this is to bring good luck and fortune to the family.
Touching wood three times warms off any evil spirit and avoids tempting fate.
Don’t be put off when you see a black cat, they can in fact be a lucky charm.
We’ve heard the saying “find a penny pick it up, and all day you’ll have good luck”.
Seeing more than one magpie is said to be lucky… “one for sorrow, two for luck, three for a boy, four for a girl, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told, eight for a wish, nine for a kiss, ten for a bird you must not miss”.
Finding a four-leaf clover, wishing on a wish bone, make a wish on a full moon and even blessing someone who sneezes, there are many lucky superstitions out there, we don’t live in a world surrounded by misfortune!
But here is the big one…the one we all take extra caution in what we do…Friday 13th, the unluckiest day of the calendar year! Why is it that some of us will go to the extent to avoid doing everyday things such as driving a car on this day? Surely, this old wife’s tale can’t be that bad…can it?
Let’s start with the number 13, a number we consider to be unlucky. Jesus’ last supper involved 13 Disciples, the 13th one being of course Judas, the famous betrayer.
It is said that when witches gather together, there are to be 13 of them and guess which number tarot card symbolises death…yes, the 13th one.
When people were hung for their crimes, there were 13 knots in the noose and it has even got to the point that some hotels won’t have a number 13 room!
Now on to Friday’s, the day Jesus was believed to be crucified on. It was also the day that public hangings took place (what a way to kick start the weekend) and get this…there were 13 steps leading up to the noose!
These old wife tales take a part in our day-to-day lifestyle, but take it with a pinch of salt (over the left shoulder of course)! Some occurrences that happen are simply coincidences. We’ve crossed people walking up/down the stairs, walked over three drains and nothing…touch wood…we say, writing this with our fingers crossed!
Happy Friday 13th – Let us know if you have any bizarre stories to tell and finally…good luck!