Superstitions have existed for centuries and many of these exist today. Here are some of the most common ones, some of which are still around today.
For the ancient Egyptians Cats were holy, if you killed a cat it would be considered as a crime. Cats were even mummified. Romans too considered cats as holy. So how did black cats get such a bad image?
During the middle ages witch hunts became a common, women who were accused of being witches were burnt at the stake. There was a belief of the locals that a witch kept a ‘familiar’- small creatures which helped witches cast spells. These animals included frogs, birds, snakes and of course cats.
Television, films and even cartoons often show witches with black cats. Particularly evil ones.
Nowadays in some countries black cats are associated with both good and bad luck. In the USA and some European countries its seen as bad luck if a black cat walks by whereas in the UK and Japan having a black cat cross your path is believed to bringing good luck.
An old superstition about spilling salt is that it will bring you bad luck. In order to make sure all is well you will need to throw a pinch of salt over your shoulder.
This may seem a little odd but at one time salt was very costly and rare. So of course it was seen as bad to waste it. Another reason is for religious purposes. Salt was mixed with food used in religious events in Greek and Roman traditions. In one painting Judas is shown spilling salt.
Breaking a mirror
Breaking a mirror is thought to bring you seven years worth of bad luck. In some cases it might be the reason for a death in the family. In order to protect yourself or your family you will need to wait for seven hours, pick up the pieces and bury in the ground.
In ancient beliefs if your reflection was misshapen or distorted it was a sign of disaster in the near future. People believed that the image in the mirror, our reflection, was in fact our soul.
The reason why it is seven years bad luck is because of ancient Roman beliefs. The Romans believed that after every seven years man’s body would become physically invigorated.
Friday the 13th
Number 13 is seen as an unlucky number but Friday the 13th is even worse. The reason why is mainly due to religious beliefs. Jesus died on a Friday and Adam was tempted by Eve on Friday. Also the floods mentioned in the bible took place on Friday.
Many people fear Friday the 13th so much so that they refuse to leave their homes. There is even an official name for the fear of Friday the 13th, it’s called paraskavedekatriaphobia.
Every culture and every group of people have their own superstitions and bad luck signs. Sometimes what is seen as something bad in one culture can be seen as something good in another. Whether we believe in them or not these superstitions have fascinated many people.