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Friday, March 3, 2017

Superstitions - Five on Friday

Joining up with Five on Friday over at Amy's Love Made My Home soon to be hosted by the wonderful Tricky and Carly over at FAST - Family Attempting to Survive the Times.

The last couple of days I've been thinking about little sayings, rhymes, phrases and tales that Mum used to share when I was younger and things we still natter about when we do get together. I'll never have enough of hearing her stories about her childhood. Anyway, this week I thought I'd share five superstitions that she's shared - some passed down from her Mum. I find them really fascinating. Superstitions have such great history and though most of us don't believe them we still find ourselves following them 'just in case'. I find myself having trouble walking under a ladder even though I logically know nothing bad will happen - but still.


If you spill salt you have to throw some over your left shoulder. My kids always laugh when I do this. A part of me does too! I was told the devil or evil lurks on your left so it has to be your left shoulder and salt wards off the evil.


Don't put new shoes on the table! I wasn't ever sure why I was just told not to do it. Apparently it means someone in your family might die. Some people say this goes back to when new shoes were generally put on the dead who were laid out OR that typically in the North shoes on the table were a way to announce the death of a family member.


You can't cut your nails on a Sunday! Why not, Mum? You'll have bad luck all week. Grrr...what about that hangnail or broken nail? Apparently there's a whole rhyme about this too. I think this is something like the one Mum told me - her mother told her.

Cut them on Monday, you cut them for health;
Cut them on Tuesday, you cut them for wealth;
Cut them on Wednesday, you cut them for news;
Cut them on Thursday, a pair of new shoes;
Cut them on Friday, you cut them for sorrow;
Cut them on Saturday, you 'll see your true-love to-morrow;
Cut them on Sunday, and you will have ill fortune all through the week.


No passing on the stairs! Another one that makes my kids laugh as I always go back down if they are coming down. Not to mention it is a bit of a squish. It looks like this one goes back to being able to defend oneself and sword usage. Sort of silly in today's world but it still feels a bit strange. Anyone else?


Black cats. Yes, I know this isn't a black cat but I don't have a picture of one so I thought I'd share a pic of my cat Shadow. Anyway I was always told that a black cat crossing your path was good luck. It was only when I got to the states that I heard it was considered bad luck here! I'd rather go with the good luck.

Isn't it strange how we hold onto these superstitions? Even though we don't really believe them we still follow some of them. I think it's good to talk about them, pass on the myths and histories so they aren't forgotten. So many thing seem to be forgotten - nursery rhymes and fairy tales and the history behind them. I find it all so fascinating.

What superstitions were passed on to you? Do you still follow them? I'd be interested to know!

19 comments:

  1. I have never come across the nail cutting days of the week rhyme nor the 'no-shoes-on-the-table' superstition! So funny nowadays!
    One I certainly don't follow is spitting when you see a magpie. No idea why or where that has come from!
    Happy weekend!

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  2. Sharon:

    My mum always said "Giving a baby a silver coin is lucky" hard now that the silver sixpence is no longer minted!

    We do say "bless you" after a person has to sneeze but think it is more from habit nowadays rather than with people believing that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose (old superstition)

    Sandy

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  3. Oh yes, I've heard about them apart from the shoes and the nails! Aren't we funny, I wonder if future generations will carry them on or will there be new ones instead. 😊

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  4. Yes, I know all those superstitions and remember them from my childhood and beyond. Black cats were always for good luck where I came from, as were chimney sweeps at a wedding. Another one I remember is don't put an umbrella up indoors. I cut my nails yesterday so I'm due a new pair of shoes, I must remember not to put them on the table:)

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  5. Yes I have heard all of these at one time or another but a couple or so years ago I was made aware of one I had never heard before that frightened the life out of me.....Washing (doing laundry) on New Year's Day will wash a life away.
    That year I had done a wash load on New Year's Day and a week or so later we heard that my husband's brother who lived in South Africa had passed away unexpectedly. I was mortified.
    Hugs-x-

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    1. Yikes. I've never heard of the washing one.

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  6. I LOVE superstitions! Here's some great ones for you: In the 1500′s, it was a common superstition that if you didn’t break up a eggshell after emptying it of the egg, a witch would snatch it up, use it as a boat, sail out to sea, and cast spells that would cause storms and sink ships! In the 1840′s the Irish who emigrated to America would break eggshells to keep the Irish Fairies who’d accompanied them to America from going home by eggshell boat.

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    1. That's a really interesting one!

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    2. That is exactly why when I have eaten a boiled egg, I always turn the shell upside down and bash the whatsits out of it until it's shattered, so that no witches will be able to use it as a boat. x

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  7. Whistling calls the evil spirits. I'm going to make sure not to trim my nails on Sunday!

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  8. The reason a bride has bridesmaids and grooms have groomsmen is to trick the devil who will try to do harm to the bride and groom. Not too many people know this, yet everyone seems to have bridesmaids and groomsmen at their wedding. Got a kick out of the shoes on the table.

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  9. I'd heard most of the sayings you mention except the one about the shoes. One time I left a pair of soft, tiny baby shoes on a table in a relative's house with other baby items as this lady was baby-sitting whilst I went to work. I never heard the last of it! When you're unaware that someone is superstitious about something it easy to cause anxiety. That memory sticks in my mind. I'm not superstitious. Thanks for sharing. Have a good weekend.

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  10. We throw salt over our right shoulder.

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  11. First time I've heard about the nail clipping superstition!

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  12. I didn't know about not cutting your nails on Sundays or not passing on the stairs, although I totally understand about having to keep your sword arm free, we always make sure of that when walking on the pavements together. x

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  13. I love all of those! I have two black cats so we have to ignore that one around here - although I was once told that left to right is good luck, right to left is bad. And it was all shoes - not just new ones - that were banned from the table in our house. Mum always said it was to do with not putting your feet on the table because it implied you were idle (or out of work)! Weird how these things hang on, isn't it?

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  14. All but the nails were things my grandmother used to say. It us funny how these superstitions pass through families, I wonder if it will continue or how many have been lost over the years.

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  15. Great idea for a post! We were always shouted at as children if we even considered putting up an umbrella indoors!

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