So much history gives us. We never cease to learn new things, good and bad.
What Is A Superstition?
The Briticanna Dictionary defines superstition as a belief or a way of behaving that is based on the fear of the unknown or of magic or luck. A belief that certain events or things will bring good or bad luck. The causes of superstition seem to be cultural, traditional, or individual experiences. They seem to give us a sense of control, even reducing anxiety. There is a large following of believers in superstitions.
Younger people are more superstitious than older people; some 25% of Americans acknowledge they are superstitious, and 12% carry or wear good luck charms. So, the next time you break a mirror, see a black cat, or encounter the number 13, don't worry too much, its mostly a trick of the mind.
A Few Common Superstitions
Here is a list of the most common superstitions:
- Black Cats: Often the symbol of Halloween, typically the omen of evil and connected to witches. In Japan, however, they are considered lucky, and in Scotland, they suggest money coming in. Unfortunately, black cats are hard to rehome from shelters.
- Breaking a mirror: This superstition is over 2000 years old and is said to bring seven years of bad luck. If you break a mirror, throwing salt over your left shoulder negates bad luck.
- Number 13: One in five of us consider the number 13 to be unlucky. It is believed to stem from the Last Supper as Judas, the 13th disciple, betrayed Jesus, and he was the 13th to sit at the table.
- Open umbrella in the house: This superstition dates back to the Egyptians when they worshipped their sun god, and if one opened an umbrella inside, it would displease their god.
- Crossing fingers: This stems from pre-Christianity as it resembles a cross to mark good spirits and anchor a wish.
- Salt over the shoulder: Said to ward off evil spirits. After a funeral, salt is thrown over the shoulder to keep evil spirits from entering the house,
- Knock on wood: It was the Celts who believed their spirits and gods resided in the trees and to knock on wood it would arouse the spirits for protection.
Some Strange Superstitions
- Mexico: facing mirrors opens the door for the devil
- Japan: Placing chopsticks straight up means death
- Lithuania: Whistling indoors summons the devil
- Britain: Shoes on the table bring bad luck
- Egypt: Owls bring bad news
- Italy: An owl in the home, someone will die
- Ireland: Brides wear bells to ward off evil spirits
- Russia: Sitting at the corner of a table means barren in marriage
- Philipines: Wearing red during a storm attracts lightning
- Spain: Eat 12 grapes on New Years Eve for good lick
Good Luck Charms
There are some who either carry or wear good luck charms. Some of those include:
- Rabbit foot: said to give good fortune and increase fertility
- Scarabs: The good luck beetle against disease, good fortune, and regeneration
- Four-leaf clover: Said to bring good luck
- Acorns: Said to protect one's health, stop illness, and pain
Sports Figures With Superstitions
- Michael Jordan wears his lucky shorts of the Tar Heels beneath his Bulls shorts.
- Tiger Woods: Known to wear a red shirt on Sundays for energy, strength, power, passion, and desire. It certainly worked for him.
- Larry Walker is a huge fan of number #3. He sets his alarm clock at 3:33, he got married on Nov. 3 at 3:33 P.M.
- Serena Williams wears the same socks every match without washing them until she loses.
- The most superstitious pro athletes are Patrick Ray, Wade Boggs, Tiger Woods, Jason Terry, Bjorn Borg, and Michael Jordan.