Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the 13th: Top 13 Superstitions

Friday the 13th...*cue spooky music* widely thought to be an unlucky day. The legend stems from various sources. One such theory proclaims that since 12 is the number of "completeness", the number thirteen is unlucky because it is "beyond completeness". For more specifics on this check out the "Friday the 13th Phobia Rooted in Ancient History" by John Roach in National Geographic. It's chock full of great details.

For this Friday the 13th, I present the 13 top common superstitions...

1. "Step on a crack, you'll break your mother's back." - Raise your hand if you ever avoided cracks in the sidewalk as a kid. *raises hand* Raise your other hand if you still do. *smiles*

2. "Don't walk under a ladder." - Something about the shape of a ladder being a triangle and a vortex. *makes googly eyes* I used to love tempting fate with this one!

3. "Break a mirror and you'll get 7 years of bad luck." - I'm sticking to this one. My mirror phobia will not allow me to mess with the evil mirror dwelling spirits.

4. "No opening an umbrella inside." - Other than the threat of breaking objects, this one makes no sense to me. I think it has something to do with offending a sun god?

5. "If a black cat crosses your path, you'll have 7 years of bad luck." - Another one! What's with the 7 years of bad luck? Why not 4 or 6 o 13? And why hate on the black cats???

6. "Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck." - I've found lots of pennies. I've picked them up. I've not had a day full of good luck. I feel cheated.

7. "Bad luck comes in threes." - I know I should say the question above...why not 4 or 6 or 13? Etc. But, this one does seem to fit. Granted it's probably my mind applying situations not connected in any way to one another, but...yeah, I'm partial to it.

8. "Cross your fingers." -  From my research this goes back to Christianity and creating the shape of the cross for good luck. Don't know if that's accurate (and I'm Buddhist, can't exactly make the shape of Buddha), but I do tend to cross my fingers, and toes when I can manage it. :)

9. "Carry a horseshoe for good luck." - Maybe I'll put it over my door if I'm feeling my Irish roots that day, but I'm not lugging it around with me. Besides, what about the horse that lost it?

10. "Knock on wood." - To defy the spirits! Similar to "Jinx", you use it when you say something like "Crossing that black cat didn't bring me bad luck, knock on wood." And yes, I do say it.

11. "A rabbit's foot is good luck." - Ew! Seriously, ew! Who carries around a rabbit's foot? I'll take my chances without one. Besides my corgi's foot looks like a rabbit's foot. I'll pet him for good luck instead.

12. "Toss that spilled salt over your left shoulder." - Salt has many properties associated with magic. It is said to ward off evil spirits. *sarcasm alert* And we all know the left side is the bad side! Bad lefties.

13. "Always say 'Bless You' after a person sneezes." - I think this is polite. But, apparently the ancient Romans thought the soul could pass through a sneeze. The bless you was a way of stopping the soul. Maybe next time, I'll try, "You shall not pass!"

Do you put faith in any of these superstitions? Which of your favorites did I miss?


  1. These are definitely some of my favorites! And I must admit, I do throw salt over my shoulder if I spill it. But oddly enough, thirteen has always been a lucky number for me!

  2. Gotta try the "You shall not pass" one. That's great. Also, would add to the list blowing the petals off those dandelions and making a wish.

    1. Oh yes! I love the dandelion wish one. Note to self, add to list. :)

  3. Alright, alright, I'll raise both hands for the 1st one *hides in shame*. There's a lot of superstitions that Russians have, too LOL Here's one: If you sit at a corner of a table, you'll get 7 years or unrequited love (again with the 7).
    Also, funny enough, for Russians Monday the 13th is the same as Friday the 13th for Americans. So I'm kind of caught in between :D

    1. I believe in some Spanish cultures, Tuesday the 13th is considered unlucky. Why does everyone pick on 13? LOL.

    2. My family has actually always considered it kind of lucky because my mom's birthday is on April 13th :)

  4. We were just at Disneyland for a week. Our hotel was a few blocks from the park so we walked in every day. I cannot tell you how many times my 9 year-old reminded me that she was stepping on cracks just to see what happened to me. *sigh* I'd have thought that superstition to be fictional, but my back is killing me today...hmm...

  5. Fun post! Gotta love superstitions.

  6. Oh, I make people knock on wood all the time. I'm like, "Do it! Do it now!" Haha! Great post, Tina! :)

  7. Great post, Tina!!! I live in the south, so you *know* we've some superstitions in these here parts! I like that included the black cat crossing because I was always told there was a way to keep the bad luck at bay. If you're driving in a car you have to lick your finger and mark an X in the top corner of your windshield. This drives my husband crazy. ;) As for what if they cross your path while walking? Not sure. Mom never shared that one with me. :)

    My great-grandmother was superstitious about the #13. I remember very vividly being at a family reunion and eating the heck outta some dill pickles. I walked up to her and said, "I just ate my 13th pickle!" Her response was, "You gotta either eat one more or one less. Since you can't go down, you need to eat another." And that's stuck with me since then. I notice it more often when I'm turning the TV volume up/down - I absolutely cannot park it on 13. :)