Very Superstitious

OOOOOoooOOOOOoooHHH…. It’s Friday the 13th. Pretty spooky if you ask me. All the town crazies, Halloween junkies and Fall fanatics are marveling in this day. This is the first Friday, October 13th since 2006! THAT’S ELEVEN YEARS AGO! The only thing crazier is if we had a full moon on this day. Now that would be something.

Every Friday the 13th has those “silly” superstitions that most of us, though we may not believe them on any other given day, are very cautious “just in case”.

All, well almost all, superstitions have some sort of origin - whether it is rooted in a deep, cultural story passed down from ancestor to ancestor or because someone thought it would be fun. Here are a few common superstitions and their origins.

 

 

  • Friday the 13th/the number 13: the superstition and fear involving Friday the 13th stemmed from the fear of the number 13 being bad luck. Each culture, religion and person believes something different, but a common origin was of the Catholic faith that the number 13 symbolized bad luck because Judas was the 13th guest at the Last Supper and Jesus was crucified on a Friday.

  • Itchy Palm = Good Luck: I don’t know about you, but I never really thought about how an itch can affect my luck, but apparently having an itchy palm brings you good luck! Some believe that having an itchy right palm means that someone new will come into your life, whereas an itchy left palm means you will come into great fortune. Others believe that the itchy palm is only related to money but depends on which palm is itchy whether or not it’s bad (left) or good (right) luck. One consistent part of the superstition is to NOT ITCH it. If you itch it, you’ll get the opposite of what is coming. The only way to remove the itch is with brass or “lucky wood”.

  • Walking Under a Ladder = Bad Luck: Not only is walking under a ladder just overall unsafe, many believe it is bad luck because of the shape it makes. That shape being a triangle. In many mythologies, the shape of a triangle symbolizes life - living or life thereafter. So when you pass through the triangle you are potentially awakening spirits - evil or good- that are inside that triangle.  To counteract this superstition, it is said to hold your thumb between your index and middle finger for five seconds, at least.

  • Breaking a Mirror = Bad Luck: The rule of thumb is that if you break a mirror, you get seven years of bad luck, but why? It is said that mirrors are the reflection of the soul and by breaking the mirror, you are breaking your soul. But why seven years? Because it takes seven years to replace all the cells in your body.

  • Knocking Twice on Wood to Reverse Bad Luck: this superstition dates back to when people believed Gods lived in trees. To ask the Gods for favors, they would tap on the tree and when they granted the favor a knock on the tree was given as thanks.

  • Tossing Spilled Salt Over the Shoulder for Good Luck: For a long time, salt was believed to hold the ability to purify the soul and ward off evil spirits. So the superstition goes that every time you spill salt, you should take a pinch and throw it over your shoulder to ward off any evil spirits who may have been attracted to the unlucky spill.

 

These are some of the most common superstitions that many people have heard of in America, but what about superstitions from other places. These next couple superstitions may have you rethinking the severity of throwing that salt over your shoulder or making sure you don’t walk under a ladder.

  • “Zombie Gum”: In Turkey, people believe that if you chew gum after dark it will turn into dead, human flesh… uh gross!

  • Bouquets with Odd Numbers: In Russia, if you give a bouquet of flowers with an even number of flowers, you are marking them with the sign of death. They also believe that yellow flowers are a sign of infidelity - so if you’re trying to woo your wife, an even number of sunflowers is probably a bad idea.

  • Knock on ...Your Balls?: In Argentina, they have similar ways to counteract superstitions and negative acts like us. Similar to how Americans knock on wood to prevent a jinx, they do the same thing… except they touch their left ball. Don’t have balls? No problem. They allow touching the left boob as well.

  • Furry Babies: In Romania, they believe that if you abuse animals your future children will come out super hairy. Just imagine a small baby you running around, but it looks like Wookie from Star Wars.

 

Believe what you want and practice what you will but these are just a few of MANY superstitions that fill our world. Each country and religion having their own beliefs and superstitions - some a bit crazier than others. Regardless, this is still the first Friday, October 13th in eleven years so stay safe out there and try not to spill salt, chew gum after dark or break mirrors.

 

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