The Superstitions in British Culture
Different cultures of the world have their own unique superstitious beliefs. Some are scientifically proven to be true, while some are just illogical. Superstition is a part of British culture today.
1) Shoes. Never leave shoes crossed on the floor.
Do not wear shoes on your wrong feet.
Walking anywhere with only one shoe on could lead to the death of one of your parents.
The man must always remember never to give a pair of shoes to his wife or girlfriend because this symbolizes that she might walk out of his life one day.
- Tying an old boot to the back of the car of a couple who just got married means you’re wishing them luck.
- Placing a new pair of shoes on the corpse before he or she was put into the coffin prepares the dead for his or her journey to heaven.
- Tying someone's shoe laces up while making a wish and your wish will come true.
2) Stairs and Ladders.
- You should never walk under ladders and never pass people when going up or down the stairs.
- It is believed that climbing a ladder or walking up the stairs means luck because this is the way up to God, while going under a ladder means the opposite.
- If you pass someone when you’re going up or down the stairs, cross your fingers to avoid disasters from happening.
- If you happen to stumble on the staircase, that is said to be good omen and it foretells a wedding.
- Cats can predict the weather. Sneezing = rain, Sitting with its back against the fire = storm, Sharpening its claws on a table leg = a sign of change in the weather, most of the time for the better.
- In the UK, it is lucky to meet a black cat. It is a sign that you will get some money if a black cat stays at your home. Black cats often appear on greeting cards in the UK.
- Dogs can predict the weather too. Eating grass, rolling on the floor or scratching itself excessively = rain.
- When a dog is howling at a door, it is an omen of death.
- If a dog whines when a baby is born, it is believed that the baby will lead an evil life.
- Meeting a herd of cows on the road is considered lucky.
- It is a sign of good weather to come when cows lay on high grounds.
- The weather will become worse if cows lay close together.
- It is lucky to own or see a white horse. (Is that why we always see prince charmings from fairy-tale stories riding on white horses?)
- Saying “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” on the first day of a new month ensures you to be lucky the whole month.
- If you kill a bat, it is considered bad luck.
- If a bat flies to your house, it indicates a death omen.
- If a bat flies past you, it means someone is trying to let you down.
Spiders:- If you happen to kill a spider, expect your luck to be bad because spiders are an important ingredient in most of the old cures for illnesses. An old saying says: “If you wish to live a thrive, let the spider run alive.”
- It is lucky to see a spider spinning its web.
4) Horseshoe.A horseshoe over the door brings good luck if the horseshoe faces the right way. It is believed that the good luck runs out of the horseshoe if it is placed upside down.
5) Table.- Expect a male visitor when you drop a table knife.
- Expect a female visitor when you drop a table fork.
- Expect an argument if you crossed your cutlery on your plate.
- Never have 13 people at a table.
6) Mirrors.- Breaking a mirror equals to seven years of bad luck.
- To avoid this 7 years of doom, you can: touch the broken pieces of mirror against a gravestone or bury the broken pieces of mirror under a tree during full moon.
7) Wood.It is lucky to touch wood. Touching or knocking on wood makes your dream come true.
8) Clover plant.You’re lucky if you find a clover plant with four leaves as it is a symbol of good luck.
9) Autumn. Catching falling leaves in Autumn brings you good luck. The more the better as every leaf means a lucky month in the following year.
10) Hair cut. Having your hair cut when the moon is waxing brings good luck.