Today being Friday 13th will mean that the superstitious among us will feel a little uneasy as it is supposed to be very unlucky, particularly in western culture. It is taken so seriously that some people will refuse to get married, travel (particularly by air) or even go to work. Although it has not been proven that Friday 13th is worse than any other day, the fact that it is a ‘double-whammy’ due to both Friday and the number 13 being seen as unlucky some people just want to hide themselves away and not take any chances.

Perhaps they might feel better if a bird pooped on them or their car! After all, this is supposed to bring good luck. It’s even better if you could get a flock of birds to poop on you all at once. Apparently the more poo, the more riches you will receive. Mind you, it takes forever to get off the car and is dreadful on the paint work. Getting poo on your person is not very pleasant either, especially if it lands on your head and drips down your face!

Now if you had an umbrella, you might have been spared the poo in the hair thing, but under no circumstances should you open it indoors. If you do that, then you are asking for bad luck, or storms to ‘rain’ down on you. Nobody wants that. Personally, I would be more concerned with having someone’s eye out if I opened my brolly indoors, knowing how clumsy I am.

Speaking of which, what about seven years bad luck for breaking a mirror, That’s a bit harsh isn’t it?! It’s those Romans who are to blame for  scaremongering on this one. Apparently, it has something to do with a mirror reflecting your soul so if you break it your soul will be damaged hence the bad luck. It was also believed that the soul only renewed itself every seven years. Practically speaking maybe you should be more worried about all that sharp glass scattered about that could give you a nasty cut!

Similarly, walking under a ladder might get you brained with a pot of paint, or a bucket! However, that is not the original reason the superstition arose. Oh no, it was because the ladder points (on a double ladder) forms a trinity, as does a single ladder leaned up against a wall. Christians believed that if you walked through this trinity then you were in cahoots with the Devil, and might even be a witch!

Talking of the devil, what do you do when you knock over the salt?  I pick some of it up and chuck it over my left shoulder, supposedly in order to throw it in the eye of the devil who may be lurking there and therefore ward off his malevolent intentions.  There are several explanations as to how this originated, but the most common belief is that Judas Iscariot knocked over the salt at the last supper, which was depicted in Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting.

Having a black cat, normally a witch’s favoured pet, walk past. Here in Britain, and in Japan, it is considered good luck to have a black cat cross your path whereas in other countries is it considered bad luck, take your pick!

Are you superstitious or sceptical?

Happy Friday 13th everyone!