It’s only been 3 months since the last Friday the 13th!
Several of the superstitions have been covered by other posts on CLP Teensburgh:
Black Cats and Broken Mirrors, How Will You Celebrate Friday The 13th?
Beware Friday the 13th
All things creepy…
You might want to take the advice of the great Stevie Wonder: “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer, superstition ain’t the way!”
If you love this old school performance on Sesame Street, check these out!
Those of us who are still superstitious might want to make sure to have a lucky charm on hand today. You can even take part in a superstition that is thought to bring good luck to balance out the day. Have you ever stopped to wonder why these items or acts are considered lucky?
Horseshoes have seven holes in them, a number that is considered lucky and divine, and many people associate them with good fortune. Another belief is that witches rode on broomsticks because they were afraid of horses, so a horseshoe is a good charm for scaring them off. The iron in horseshoes was also considered to possess magical abilities – allowing the horseshoes to detour evil spirits that attempt to haunt your dreams.
In many countries a bird pooping on you or your property is a sign of good luck and possible future riches. One idea is that it’s a sign of major wealth coming from heaven. It’s based on the belief that when you suffer an inconvenience (a very gross inconvenience), you’ll have good fortune in return. So you might want to look at the potential benefits the next time a bird mistakes you for a walking poo target.
Crossing Your Fingers
Crossing your fingers is a gesture that we learn from an early age that hopefully sends positive vibes toward something in the future. Supposedly this sign became a thing in ancient times when Christianity was illegal so that believers could identify other believers. Another possible origin is that during the Hundred Years’ War, an archer would cross his fingers to wish for luck, before drawing back his longbow with the same fingers.
Wishing On A Star
The origins of the superstition of wishing on the first star that you see in the evening or night sky is most likely a hybrid of similar ancient superstitions such as the Ancient Greeks’ belief that stars were the falling souls of humans coming to Earth and it was good luck to wish on them.
Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may, I wish I might
Have this wish I wish tonight.
This rhyme, recorded in late nineteenth-century America, further embedded the idea into popular culture. The poem even makes up some of the lyrics in Madonna’s first top-five hit, Lucky Star.
Four Leaf Clover
An amulet can be any object, but its most important characteristic is its alleged power to protect its owner from danger or harm. It is believed that ancient Celts warded off evil with four leaf clovers. Later, these good luck charms would become the unofficial symbol of Ireland. (The official symbol is a harp.) This old Irish verse describes why the leaf is so lucky:
One leaf is for fame,
And one leaf is for wealth,
And one is for a faithful lover,
And one to bring you glorious health,
Are all in the four-leaved clover.
The variations of activating the good luck power of the clover ranges from simply wearing it around your neck to actually having to eat it.
A Rabbit’s Foot
Good fortune is believed to be locked in a rabbit’s foot. This superstition dates back to the seventh century BC, when the rabbit was considered a talisman. Folklore states that the left foot of the rabbit must be taken in order to harness the creatures magical powers.
Knocking On Wood
It’s a natural reaction for many to say “knock on wood” after making a statement they hope will come to fruition. This superstition is thought to come from an ancient belief that good, positive spirits live in trees. So, by knocking on a tree or object made of wood, it was believed you were directly calling on those spirits for protection.
Good luck today and if you have a lucky charm, please let me know what it is in the comments!
lauren @ CLP – Woods Run