If asked if you are superstitious, what would you say? If you say “no”, you’re probably not being completely honest with yourself.
BAD LUCK SUPERSTITIONS
Most superstitions deal with the hope of staving off bad luck and having good luck. This must reflect a basic human need. Every culture seems to have superstitions about days and numbers that are considered, lucky or unlucky. Fridays and the number thirteen have traditionally been tagged as bad luck in many Western countries, such as England, Ireland, Canada, Germany, and the US.
The exact origin of the superstition is unknown, but according to Mental Floss, it may stem from that being the day the Romans typically held crucifixions — and therefore is thought to be the day Jesus was crucified. But that is just one speculation.
BAD LUCK DAYS IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Just as a sample, here are some other beliefs taken from rd.com/list/unluckiest-days-world/:
● China: April 4th
The Chinese word for the number four sounds remarkably like the word for death. (This is also true in Japan.) Therefore, April 4 ‒ 4/4 ‒ is the unluckiest day of the year.
● Greece: Tuesday the 13th
Greeks dislike Tuesday because their word for the day is Triti, which also means “third” ‒ and bad luck comes in threes. The culture’s dislike of the number 13 ‒ and Tuesdays ‒ stems from the fall of Constantinople, which apparently took place on Tuesday the 13th.
● Italy: Friday the 17th
For this superstition, we have to involve Roman numerals: 17 (XVII) is dangerously close to VIXI which means “I have lived” and implies death in the present. The Italian's bad-luck number seventeen has been around since the early Romans. I lived in Rome and know there are many buildings which do not have 17th floors a room #17 and so on.
● Japan: September 9th
In Japanese, the word nine sounds similar to the Japanese word for torture or suffering, making September 9 (or 9/9) a lousy day for a birthday.
● Spain: Tuesday the 13th
Like the Greeks, Spaniards really hold it against the Ottoman Turks, who took Constantinople on Tuesday the 13th during the Fourth Crusade. Martes, the Spanish word for Tuesday, comes from the god of war, Mars, adding to its ominous reputation.
● India: August 8th
Eight is the number of the Hindu god Shani, who happens to be the god of breakups and strife ‒ and he has a lethargic personality. That means 8/8 is an inauspicious date in Indian culture.
While all of these resonate like reasonable explanations, I can't help wondering if many of these bad-luck days are fairly recent in origin. The calendar that most of the world uses today has not existed from ancient times. The early calendars didn't have the same number of months as we do now, and they had different names, so how do we end up with the eighth day of the eighth month or the fourth day of the fourth month?
FRIDAY 13TH THEORIES and PRACTICES
In Ancient Times
● The word Friday represents the Norse goddess Frigg [Freyja or Freya], the goddess of love and war. She had many other talents as well. Some historians believe the Teutonic people called Friday unlucky because of Freyja, perhaps because one of her talents was magic.
Image Source: pinterest.com/pin/3729612165448912/ Image Source: blogs.timesofisrael.com/apologizing
● In the New Testament, thirteen people attended Jesus' last supper on Maundy Thursday, the day before Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday. Judas was the thirteenth to be seated.
● On Friday , October 13, 1307, officers of King Philip IV of France arrested hundreds of the Knights Templar, a powerful religious and military order formed in the 12th century for the defense of the Holy Land. Imprisoned on charges of various illegal behaviors ‒ but in truth because the king wanted access to their financial resources ‒ many Templars were later executed. Some cite the link with the Templars as the origin of the Friday the 13th superstition, but like many legends involving the Templars and their history, the truth remains murky.
In The Middle Ages
●This is a more likely time for such superstitions to be tied to Christian beliefs surrounding the last supper and crucifixion.
● In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer wrote in his Canterbury Tales the first reference to Friday as being unlucky.
●While some historians point to evidence of both Friday and the number thirteen being considered unlucky, there are no references connecting the two before the 19th century.
In The Nineteenth and Twentieth Century
● Henry Sutherland Edward's 1869 biography of composer Gioachino Rossini, is credited with the first documented reference to Friday the 13th. According to Edwards, Rossini regarded Friday as an unlucky day, thirteen as an unlucky number, and died on a Friday, November 13, 1868. Actually, Italians consider 13 a lucky number. Go figure!
The group dined regularly on the 13th day of the month in room 13 of the Knickerbocker Cottage, a popular watering hole Fowler owned from 1863 to 1883. Before sitting down for a 13-course dinner, members would pass beneath a ladder and a banner reading “Morituri te Salutamus,” Latin for “Those of us who are William Fowler
about to die salute you.” Four former U.S. presidents joined the Image Source:
Thirteen Club’s ranks at one time or another. exemplore.com/The-Thirteen-Club
Quote: Kathy Padden [todayifoundout.com]
Once the day Friday and the number thirteen combined, the superstition blossomed and filled much of the western world. Once singled out, it's easier to go hunting for bad things that happened on that date. Perhaps just as much bad luck occurs on other days and dates, but we're not looking at those.
WHY DO PEOPLE BELIEVE IN SUPERSTITIONS?
Off hand, most people might respond with one word. “Ignorance.” While that is a valid answer, it is not totally the case.
You would think that in these modern times when technical advancements are being made daily and knowledge is so easily available from all parts of the world, our enlightenment would take us beyond the realm of superstition, but belief in superstitions persists even today.
All of us, including the highly educated, to one extent or another believe in a few absurd superstitions. Sometimes, it’s just laziness that keeps us from studying the matter and finding the scientific explanation. Even when we know better, sometimes we acquiesce, at least minimally, with the comment “just in case” or “What can it hurt?”
From the dawn of human existence, people have held superstitious beliefs. These are the irrational beliefs that an object, action or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome… Beliefs that result from ignorance and fear of the unknown. Many superstitious practices are due to the false interpretations of natural events.
The influences most responsible for proposing and perpetrating superstitions are: Leaders/Governments, Elders / parents, Cultures, Imaginative stories, Scholars, myths and, as stated, misinterpretation of nature and real events.
Human possess a natural curiosity regarding all things that are hidden from us or are still in the future. We have to know. This trait leads us to fill in the unknown with our own explanations, usually ungrounded in reality or facts.
Types of Superstitions
There are basically three types of superstitions.
● Religious Superstitions
All religious beliefs and practices may seem superstitious to the person without religion. Most religions teach followers to believe in something they cannot perceive with human senses. The variety of superstitions is enormous.
● Cultural Superstitions
Every known civilization that ever existed on earth had something common in them ‒ the myths and superstitions that were a crucial part of their cultures. Nearly all cultures, throughout history, have held seriously irrational beliefs concerning methods of warding off ill or bringing good, foretelling the future, healing, and preventing sickness and accidents.
● Personal Superstitions
Again, curiosity and the need to know causes people to develop their own personal superstitions. If a student writes a good form of literary piece with a certain pen, from that moment the pen is lucky. Many people carry and believe in good luck charms.
Why People Tend To Become Superstitious?Many superstitions are widespread, such as associating good luck with a horseshoe. Others are peculiar to certain countries or regions.
A superstition is any belief or practice considered by non-practitioners to be irrational or supernatural, attributed to fate or magic, perceived as supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown. It is commonly applied to beliefs and practices surrounding luck, amulets, astrology, fortune telling, spirits, and certain paranormal entities, particularly the belief that future events can be foretold by specific unrelated prior events.
Why would people today go for that?
● Stress and Fear of Unknown
Believe it or not, stress makes people “more superstitious”. First, people are always seeking a “reason” why things happen, particularly misfortunes. Superstitions can comfort people by blaming the misfortune on something they can’t control, often to cover their own mistakes, if they even realize they have made a mistake.
People are more likely to attribute an event to a superstitious cause if it is negative rather than positive. This is the kind of reaction the fuels conspiracy theories and leads people to “see” things that actually don’t exist.
● A Feeling of Lacking Control
Feeling of lack of control over their life encourages many people’s desire to impose their own order on the world. The less control people have over their lives, the more likely they are to try to regain control through mental gymnastics. Superstitions seem to satisfy some deep psychological need.
WHAT NOT TO DO ON FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH
● Don't give birth. A child born on Friday the 13th will be unlucky for life.
● Don't set sail. Ships that set sail on Friday will have bad luck.
●Don't start anything that represents the beginning or start of a new venture.
● Don't get up for the first time on Friday if you have been ill.
● Don't move your residence on a Friday, or you won't stay in the new location very long.
● If you break a mirror, you will have seven years bad luck.
● Don’t drop a dishcloth, or you will have bad luck.
●Don’t eat from the pot, or it will rain at your wedding ceremony. [That’s in case you decide to get married in spite of the warning. Besides, it's hard to imagine this being a problem.]
Others Bad Luck Superstitions
● If a dog howls at night, death is near.
● It is bad luck to see an owl in the sunlight.
● If a bat flies into your house it is bad luck. [I’m inclined to believe this one.]
● It is bad luck to open an umbrella in the house.
● It is bad luck to let milk boil over.
● Cutting your nails after sunset will bring bad luck.
● If you dream about a dog, you will have a lot of enemies.
● You have to get out of the bed on the same side you got in on or you will have bad luck.
● It is unlucky to rock an empty rocking chair
● If your left hand itches, you will lose money.
● If you sleep with your feet towards the door, a nightwalker will steal your soul.
● If you whistle at night, a nightwalker will come to your home.
● When a cat sneezes three times indoors, it will rain in 24 hours.
● If an owl hoots in your garden, it brings you bad luck
● If you leave a hat on the bed, someone will die.
And so on and so on. You've been warned!.
COME ON PEOPLE. GET A LIFE!