When I was writing about folklore I started thinking about superstitions. I think most people have something they are superstitious about whether it’s breaking an item, seeing a particular object and thinking it means a future event will turn out a certain way, or jinxing an action by saying the wrong thing. While I didn’t grow up in a superstitious family I do remember never wanting to open an umbrella in the house and none of us ever walked under ladders. Now I’m not sure if the ladder one was born from a portent of bad luck or simply common sense that it was a bad idea to do it.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary a superstition is defined as “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.” Every culture has beliefs or traditions around things like luck or the foretelling of events. Superstitions are based on an idea that events can be determined or predicted by certain actions, words, or physical items.
When I was thinking about what I would define as the top ten superstitions I came up with the following list:
1. Find a four leaf clover and it will bring good luck.
2. Break a mirror and have seven years of bad luck.
3. Finding and picking up a coin that is heads up will bring good luck.
4. A black cat crossing your path is bad luck.
5. Never walk under a ladder.
6. If you make a wish on a falling star it will come true.
7. Friday the 13th is an unlucky day.
8. A cricket in the house is good luck.
9. Never open an umbrella indoors.
10. Knock on wood for good luck.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. What is a superstition you believe in? Post a comment and let me know.