10-22-2013   4 comments

Are you superstitious?  Do you believe that by doing something in particular bad things could happen. Or maybe even good things? It seems that in every community, state, and country there are hundreds of these ridiculous  superstitions passed down from generation to generation. "Step on a crack and break your mother’s back" was one of the ones I specifically remember from my childhood.  It had been jumping over and walking around sidewalk cracks for years and I’m still not sure why.

Like I didn’t have other things to worry about at that age. My concerns at that time were how to meet girls, how to get a date, acne, and will I play well in the big game tomorrow. Instead I was worried about walking under ladders, seeing black cats or breaking a mirror.  Why?  No one seems to know why we’re loaded up with all this nonsense at such an early age by both family and friends who are supposed to care about us.  It’s just crazy.

I’m going to supply you with a short list of some of the good old standby’s and then a second shorter list of some odd ones from around the world.

  • Two people breaking a wishbone is said to lead to good luck for the person with the larger piece.
  • Opening an umbrella indoors is said to result in 21 days of bad luck. Some traditions hold that it is only bad luck if the umbrella is placed over the head of someone while indoors.
  • If one walks underneath an open ladder it is said to bring bad luck. Sometimes it is said that this can be undone by immediately walking backwards back underneath the ladder.
  • Breaking a mirror is said to bring bad luck for 7 years. To "undo" this, take the shards of glass and bury them underneath the moonlight. In ancient times, the mirror was said to be a window to the viewer’s soul.
  • The superstitious symbolism of a black cat crossing one’s path is dependent upon culture: some cultures consider this a sign of impending bad luck, while some cultures consider this a sign of impending good luck.
  • Once a wedding ring has been placed on the finger, it is considered bad luck to remove it.
  • At times, a horseshoe may be found above doorways. When positioned like a regular ‘U’ it supposedly collects luck. However, when it is positioned like an upside-down ‘U’ the luck supposedly drains.
  • Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  • When you speak of bad luck, it is said that one should always knock on wood. Also knocking when speaking of good luck apparently helps with having good luck. This is an old Celtic tradition related to belief of wood spirits.
  • If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  • It’s bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come in.
  • An acorn should be carried to bring luck and ensure a long life.

 

  • Pirates around the world believed that piercing the ears with such precious metals as silver and gold improved one’s eyesight.
    Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
  • There are numerous sailors’ superstitions, such as: it is considered bad luck for a ship to set sail on a Friday, to bring anything blue aboard, to stick a knife into the deck, to leave a hatch cover upside-down, to say "pig", or to eat walnuts aboard, and to sail with a woman on board.
  • In Russia it is believed that before traveling a person should, apparently, sit on their luggage.
  • In Sweden it is believed that if you collect seven or nine different flowers on midsummer eve and place them under your pillow, you will dream of your future spouse.
  • It is bad luck in Great Britain to put new shoes on a bed or a table (this comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects).
  • Placing keys on a table in Sweden is considered unlucky.
  • Placing a hat on the bed is, apparently, bad luck in certain European countries.
  • In some parts of England, rum is used to wash a baby’s head for good luck.
  • According to an age old custom, carrying a dead shrew in your pocket wards off rheumatism.

Just to be on the safe side you should write these all down and take time to memorize them.  Then when the time is right pass them on to your children and grandchildren.  It’s only fair that we do our part in keeping these really stupid traditions alive. 

Someday when you have a free moment take a seat near a sidewalk and relax with a hot cup of coffee.  Then watch the passers-by and see how many refuse to step on the sidewalk cracks.  You’ll be amazed.

4 responses to “10-22-2013

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  1. You’re right, why do we keep passing these along? I wasted so much time as a child NOT stepping on cracks. Tsk tsk. As for the horseshoe, my parents have one outside their house, and it’s been upside-down for years. So far so good, stupid superstition! (Knock on wood…)

  2. Should you leave the wedding ring on even if you are divorced??? Really haven’t you already had the bad luck at that point??

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