How do your country’s superstitions compare?
The word superstition is first used in English in the 15th century, modelled after an earlier French superstition.
Superstitions can be described in a dictionary as “irrational fears”. Tradition shows that many British people (Brits) are very superstitious.
People of all ages think it’s lucky to:
- meet a black cat (they often feature on ‘good luck’ cards)
- ‘knock on’ (touch) wood
- find a four-leaf clover
- see or pick some white heather
- put money in the pocket of new clothes
- hang a horseshoe over the door (but make sure it’s the right way up otherwise the luck will run out!)
Apparently, Brits believe bad luck will follow them if they:
- walk underneath a ladder
- break a mirror (it brings seven years bad luck)
- spill salt (if you do, throw it over your left shoulder to counteract bad luck)
- open an umbrella indoors
- put new shoes on the table
- pass someone on the stairs
- see only one magpie (but it’s lucky to see two…)
On the first day of each month, it’s lucky to say “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” before saying anything else to anyone. However, if the 13th of any month occurs on a Friday, great care must always be taken because this is an ‘unlucky day’!
Do you have similar superstitions in your country? If so, please share them with us. It’s a wonder British people find the time to do anything if they worry about good and back luck so much, isn’t it?