There are hundreds, probably thousands, of superstitions in India. There are so many things you can do to welcome bad luck into your life. For instance, don’t sweep in the evening and for goodness sake, do not break a glass bangle!
We moved into our apartment on Friday the 13th, apparently the unluckiest date imaginable, a day where many people choose to hide away in their beds all day to avoid anything bad happening. Friday the 13th happened to be lucky for us, but it got me thinking, us Brits have our fair share of superstitions too! Like all superstitions, they have their origins and reasons but many are forgotten and only the abstract superstition remains!
Even though I don’t actually believe in bad luck (well, I tell myself I don’t), hearing these things growing up, the superstitions are ingrained into my consciousness. The following superstitions are the ones which I automatically pay attention to, and have done since I was a child:
- Don’t walk under ladders! I never walk under ladders, not because it’s dangerous but because it might bring bad luck. It’s ridiculous but when avoiding a ladder, I don’t think “oh, that might hurt if it crashed down upon me”, I think “oh, that would be unlucky!”. How silly.
- Don’t walk in the cracks in the pavement! I’ve nearly grown out of this one, but looking down at the ground whilst walking has it’s advantages because you may find an abandoned penny (which will bring you good luck, find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck)!
- Don’t put new shoes on the table! I can vividly remember being really small and my mum taking shopping bags off of the table if they contained new shoes, and now I do the same!
- Don’t open an umbrella inside the house! Major bad luck here, if I see someone opening an umbrella inside the house, I wince!
- Expect seven years bad luck if you break a mirror! This one has been a source of anxiety and grieve because I have been clumsy!
- Desperately look for a second Magpie if you see one alone! There is an 18th century rhyme about Magpies which is guilty for this one, one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told. Many car journeys have been spent counting Magpies, hoping for gold!
So, there we are. I wouldn’t say I was a believer in bad luck or the evil eye, but as a result of my childhood, I too follow my own superstitions (and there are plenty more British superstitions out there!).