As I am sure we all know each culture is soaked in its own traditions, beliefs, superstitions and prejudices. Despite science taking over most of the world, many beliefs are much stronger than a rational explanation.
1. The Lightning Magnet
When I was young and till now my mother would go absolutely mental if someone opens an umbrella inside a building before getting outside. When I was younger it was explained to me by ensuring that I would be striked by a lightning if I dare to open an umbrella before getting out of a building. From what I understand it is nothing to do with a spirituality or some God’s totem but as simple as “the lightning will strike you so don’t open till we get outside”. I was sure it was not true but you know what I never opened an umbrella indoor till about now.
Although my belief in the lightnings magnet ability of an umbrella wasn’t anything to do with my hometown’s religion it definitely has a lot to do with my culture. Russians are historically highly superstitious people. Whatever people observed in the past and learnt without access to rational explanation became prejudice. Back than it would probably save lives whereas now it makes us laugh.
Did you know that in the 18th century England popularised awkwardly large metal umbrellas which where threatening with injuries if opened inside. As a result, English would believe that opening an umbrella inside a building is a bad luck. Maybe English prefer to stick with dangerous but classic & conservative versions of umbrella? (giggling loud)
2. Cat Wears Black
Who doesn’t know that if you see a black cat crossing your road you are most likely in trouble? Well, unless you just watched Final Destination, most people I am sure won’t be threatened by a pussy cat. Surprise, surprise, many would! Interestingly in Western history, black cats have often been looked upon as a symbol of evil omens, specifically being suspected of being the familiars of witches. However the Scottish believe that a strange black cat’s arrival to the home signifies prosperity. So do not kick a furry black creature on a belly if you see it crossing your road. Walk around if you don’t feel safe or find another way; however my advice stop being scared of something which doesn’t exist.
3. Animals Cruelty Brings Luck
Ok maybe I am a little exaggerating but carrying a rabbit’s foot for luck seems to be a little crazy, don’t you think. First of all, you need to find a rabbit and better of a dead one and than chop its foot off. It remind scenery of the movie “Saw”. I understand that talismans and amulets are a time-honored way of fending off evil. However believe me modern evil’s protection is karate classes and better locks at home (giggling). It is believe that rabbit foot for luck totem originates from hoodoo, a form of African-American folk magic and superstition that blends Native American, European and African tradition.
4. Table Corner is a Deal Breaker
When I was a little girl everyone would sit me in the corner of the table because I was young enough to take the 7 year long curse. According to my mother, sitting on the corner of a table means marriage free life for 7 years. I am not sure why corners are such deal breakers and why 7 years but this is what used to be a big deal in my family. When I turned 9 years old, corners became my enemies and mother would move me around finding either married people or little kids to replace my usual corner.
5. Mirror Curse
Not only siting on the corner of a table is an evil event, breaking a mirror is similar to a nightmare coming alive. According to my Russian family, breaking a mirror is a surefire way to doom yourself to seven years of bad luck. Imagine sitting on the corner of a table and step on a mirror breaking it? Well, I in fact had such experience. What are the odd! I am still not married and never won in a casino… I am not sure though if I shall blame the corners and the mirror.
6. Absolutely Evil 666
Number six (6) is an absolute evil according to many cultures. Interestingly, all the issues with 666 number go back to the Bible. In the Book of Revelation, 666 is given as the number of the “beast,” and is often interpreted as the mark of Satan and a sign of the end times. Interestingly, scientists also found an explanation to the figure which they believe is referred to a reference number, not an evil beast really.
7. Absolute Heaven 7
So if 6 is a bad guy number why the next to it is a lucky one? Why 7 is such a holy number? Different religions state that it is The Number that God chose to represent completeness. Seven means that something is whole, full complete or perfect… However the world was completed in 3 days! I am confused! We all know about 7 deadly sins or 7 wonders however I can think of much more things which can be sins and I am absolutely certain that there are much more wonders on the planet.
Frank Deford pointed out, 7 is the only single digit number that has two syllables. However, it is only one if you speak Russian. Can you think of how to say in Chinese or Bulgarian? You get my point!
8. Christians Are The Luckiest
Whether making a wish or protecting from a lie reveal, crossing fingers is something which I’ve noticed doesn’t stick around for too long usually. We follow the ritual till we are probably 12 but it dies out slowly but surely after. However habit is always around. When we are going for an exam or a job interview, relatives and friends usually go “fingers crossed” wishing a good luck.
Back to early stages of Christianity, two people used to cross index fingers when making a wish, a symbol of support from a friend to the person making the wish. As the power of the religion grew, anything crossed in a shape of a cross (Christianity) was considered a good luck.
9. Lucky Metal Feng Shui
I could never understand how a horse shoe is for a good luck. Firstly, the thing is heavy and can hurt a lot if dropped on someone. Secondly, its often corroded causing all sorts of unpleasant results. And finally, how often do you see horses on the modern freeways? Some people believe that this is the luckiest of all symbols, especially if it is found with the open end pointing toward you. Well, good luck finding one – you will really need it (giggling). Additionally, having a horse shoe at home is a good feng shui so if you cannot find one on the street it is time to visit close by stables.
10. Spitting on The Angels
Knocking on the wood, spitting over your shoulder, repeating like a pray “Don’t jinks, don’t jinks” and all sorts of motor dysfunctions are incredibly common in the modern world. The origin of knocking on the wood three times to get good luck back is a common superstition back to a time when some cultures believed that gods lived in trees. I have never seen anyone spitting over their shoulder in order to not jinks something apart from in Russia. A highly religion Russia came up with some awesome explanation: there are two angels on the humans’ backs – a white angel lives behind a person’s right shoulder; a black angel is behind their left shoulder. People thought spitting would keep the black angel from getting angry, and then he would not destroy their plans.
Which ones are the oddest or funniest Superstitions & Prejudices are you aware of? Please share!