Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the Thirteenth and Other Superstitions

Another Friday the Thirteenth is here once again, and with it has come awareness of superstitions and the supernatural. Friday the Thirteenth may be unlucky for some people, but I've always enjoyed it. I usually associate it with neither positive nor negative luck. However, it definitely is a day of mystical and unusual occurrences, either for good or bad. Make sure you keep a lucky charm on hand! Here are a few interesting myths and superstitions to remember for next Friday the Thirteenth, and for all year 'round.

1. Black cats are said to be inherently unlucky, however having one "cross your path" as you're walking is especially unlucky.

2. When you break a mirror, you will have seven years of bad luck. To reverse this back luck streak, you can bury the pieces of the mirror, or throw them into a stream.

3. "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." Avoid cracks in streets, sidewalks, and even the floor, as they are reputed to have unlucky consequences for you and those around you.
4. If a wild bird enters your house, someone close to you will die.

5. An old eastern European legend says that if you have accidentally put on your underwear inside out, you will have an especially lucky day. If you need a little extra luck on a particular day... go ahead and put it on inside out anyway... it couldn't hurt!

6. Opening an umbrella in the house is said to bring bad fortune to those inside the house, so keep those umbrellas closed unless you're outside.

7. When you move, do not take your old broom with you. Throw it away, and get a new broom for your new house.

8. If your palms itch, money will be changing hands -- your right palm itching indicates that you'll be receiving money; An itch on your left palm means that you will be lending or paying money to someone soon.

9. Horseshoes are good luck! If you hang one above the doorway, it will bring good luck to your household. In Ireland, it is believed that the horseshoe must be facing upward so that the luck "catches" in the curve of the horseshoe.

10. If you spill salt, you must throw some over your shoulder to prevent back luck from coming. Some say that it must be your left shoulder, other say that either shoulder will do.

11. When you sneeze, your soul might try to escape your body, or the devil may possess you. Therefore it's important to bless someone when you hear them sneeze.

12. If you see a shooting star, make a wish. All wishes that are made on shooting stars are said to come true. But if you tell your wish, it won't come true!

13. If thirteen people sit down to eat a meal together, then one of those people will die within a year.

Photos credits: Calendar pic (c) W. J. Pilsak; Kitty pic, thanks to DrL

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