By: KATE SAARI
Everyone knows at least one Superstition. Superstitions are defined as “Excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings,” which to be summed up in simpler terms, some actions can cause immortal life to follow after your disrespectful behavior. For instance, walking under a ladder or not knocking on wood after optimism will cause bad luck in your future. Whenever someone does this, you are just biting your fingernails for the worst to come. We always seem to cross our fingers, expecting it to magically make things better when we are in need of some luck. These acts were always just simply known as a negative sign and we still continue to oddly believe in them. While some of these rituals seem a little bizarre, you won’t catch anyone making huge arrangements on Friday the 13th.
When did we start believing in these insane concepts anyway? Superstitions began centuries ago when our ancestors tried to explain strange situations or events as best as they could with the little knowledge they had. Before we used science to explain weird events such as, why mirrors show our reflection or how shadows appear when it’s bright outside, our ancestors agreed that a shadow or reflection was part of the soul. Although we now understand the logic behind the reflection off a mirror and our mysterious shadows, there are still people who believe breaking a mirror represents bad karma. People believe in the craziest things! For example, in 2019, Statista released a survey on what Superstitions Americans believe in, “66% of Americans believe black cats are bad luck” Statista reported after conducting their research. About ⅔ of Americans who took this survey believe just by seeing an animal, you’ll receive a consequence for invading their presence. Coincidentally, black cats have the lowest adoption out of every cat breed. Could it be because of this Superstition? Comedian Groucho Marx said, “A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.”
Superstitions can be as frightening as producing death, or as oddly lucky as stepping in dog poop with your left foot. Every country has their specific Superstitions that people try to avoid. While Americans are hesitant on Friday the 13th, in Greece, they are traditionally wary of Tuesday the 13th. The theory for the superstition goes way back in time to Tuesday, April 13, 1204 (on the Julian calendar), when Constantinople fell to the Crusaders. Since then, when it’s the 13th on a Tuesday in Greece, don’t be surprised if you see anyone on edge. In Russia, putting your clothes on inside out invites you to a beating. This superstition can be minimized by immediately putting your clothes on correctly and having someone symbolically hit you. I’ve done this too many times, guess I wouldn’t make it out alive in Russia. In Portugal, it is cursed to walk backwards. They say if you walk from the behind, you are showing the devil which way you are going. What if you accidentally walk into a room with people who are arguing? I can’t awkwardly back up slowly anymore? I guess I’ll just have to dramatically turn around and strut out of the room now.
These interesting myths range from the spooky past that groups don’t want to revisit to simple mistakes that we make everyday that are supposedly misfortune in other parts of the world. When it comes to the end, everyone chooses what they want to believe in. To us, other countries’ superstitions seem humorous, because they aren’t a part of our culture. Although, we don’t step on cracks in the sidewalk or forget to throw salt over our shoulder when it spills. So, after hearing all the different types of superstitions, would you still open an umbrella indoors?