Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Have a case of triskaidekaphobia, a fear of the number 13? Well, congratulations on surviving two already this year! This will be our last Friday the 13th for the rest of 2012! And if the world ends in December, it will be our last Friday the 13th EVER!
Lets take a look at superstitions! Superstitions come from the same area of the brain that the belief in monsters does. When the human brain can’t explain something, we make up a solution. Although superstitions cannot be logically explained, we still believe them because our brain makes us feel the fear that something will happen because we walked under a ladder. Then when something unfortunate happens, our first explanation is the superstition.If you hadn’t walked under the ladder and the same unfortunate event took place, our explanation would have been more like, “Oh well, everyone has off days.”
Here are the most common superstitions:
- Beginners luck! How many times have you taught a card game, that you had been playing for years, only to have your friend beat you? Must be beginners luck.
- Find a penny, pick it up. This comes from a rhyme:
“See a pin, pick it up
and all day long you’ll have good luck
See a pin, let it lay
and your luck will pass away.”
- Walking under the ladder. This belief actually comes from Christianity. Because the ladder leaning against a wall, created a triangle (the trinity), walking through the triangle was believe to represent breaking the trinity, which was blasphemous.
- Black cats. This comes from an old fear of witches and familiars. People believed that witches would take the form of their familiar and people feared that the cat was actually the witch.
- Lucky rabbits foot.This could come from African hoodoo, or early Celtic tribes in Britain.
- Broken mirror. This comes from the idea that the mirror doesn’t just show your reflection but holds bits of your soul.
- 666. This comes from the bible, which uses the number 666 and a sign of the beast.
- No umbrellas inside! This is believe to have spread to keep people from doing something dangerous and destructive. Opening an umbrella inside could hit someone or something and hurt or break it. There is the story of a lady who opened an umbrella in her house moments before it collapsed, to go along with the safety tip.
- Friday the 13th! I had to include this for all the Friggatriskaidekaphobics out there. This one, again, comes partly from Christianity. Fridays were viewed as unlucky days because Jesus died on a Friday. Plus the number 13 has long been associated with bad luck.
And there we have some of the most popular superstitions.
Pappas, Stephanie. “13 Common (But Silly) Superstitions.” LiveScience.com. N.p., 13 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 July 2012. <http://www.livescience.com/14141-13-common-silly-superstitions.html>.