The Quick 10: 10 Superstitions That Don't Involve Mirrors, Black Cats or Salt

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I don't consider myself a very superstitious person"¦ not really. I do knock on wood from time to time, but do I really believe it's going to change the future? No. I mean, mostly no. Like, 99 percent no. I suppose that tiny little one percent chance is why we still avoid walking under ladders and opening umbrellas inside. Here are a few interesting superstitions I hadn't heard of before. Hopefully making a list of 10 superstitions isn't bad luck"¦

10 Superstitions That Don't Involve Mirrors, Black Cats or Salt

1. If you go to make yourself a sandwich and see a hole in your bread, beware: a death in the family is just around the corner. At least, that's one version. The other version is that the lady who baked the bread with the holes in it will find out she is pregnant (I'm assuming this comes from back in the day when only women baked).

2. Have friends on a cruise, or a relative in the Navy or the Marines? If you're a girl, you'd better not comb your hair after nightfall. It will bring disaster upon the person at sea.

3. In other hair-related superstitions, you're not supposed to throw old hair from your hairbrush away, ever. If a bird makes a nest out of it, you will have a headache until the nest no longer exists. I guess this means some people have a large collection of their own hair sitting around their houses.

4. If someone sneezes while you are putting your shoes on, you should just go back to bed. At least, that's what St. Augustine of Hippo believed.

5. In Korea, you shouldn't leave a fan on in a closed room "“ it means the residents of the house will suffocate.

6. In India, pregnant women should avoid going outside during an eclipse"¦ that is, unless they want their child to have a facial birthmark.

7. This one dates back to WWI and is apparently somewhat well known "“ a movie was made about it. But I had never heard of it: if three soldiers light their cigarettes from the same match, either one of them will die or the last one to light the cig will be shot.

8. In Russia, if a chicken crows at you three times before noon, someone in your family is doomed. The chicken should be killed, but not eaten "“ eating it will only make things worse.

9. If you're holding hands with someone and have to let go for whatever reason, you should say "Bread and butter" before letting go, then let go and join hand again as soon as possible. Otherwise you will have bad luck. I wonder if it's just "Bread and butter", or would any pairing work? "Peanut butter and jelly"? "Spaghetti and meatballs"? Hmm.

10. The ancient Chinese believed that if a man was out hunting, his children shouldn't draw. The paths in the forest would become as complicated as the lines in the drawing and the poor hunter would never find his way home.

July 24, 2008 - 10:02am
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