Do you feel lucky today? If you find a penny, will you pick it up? Or you would think it’s just a superstition? You may think this kind of thing is silly but for those who believe in superstition, it is not. They believe that finding a penny will give us good luck. Besides the fact that we get a penny, what is it in a penny that brings us good luck? Ancient culture believed that metal was a gift from god to human for protection against evil. The story went and it probably developed into this superstition that metal gives us good luck.
There are some superstitions related to luck in western world. We can trace the origin of some, but a lot are obscure. Some superstitions even have more than one story.
While finding a penny is considered lucky, walking under a ladder is not. It’s not that because it’s dangerous or anything, but in the past people who were sentenced to death were hanged in a scaffold. Walking under a ladder was associated with walking to this scaffold to hang people, so people believe that it is a bad luck.
The superstitious may also warn you not to break a mirror. Not only that you will need to buy a new one, the superstitious believes that it gives you seven years bad luck. The story came from the ancient Romans who believed that a mirror had a power to seize the soul of the user. A broken mirror meant a broken soul. A broken soul was an unfortunate. The Romans also believed that it took seven years for human body to renew itself. As consequences, once you broke a mirror, it took seven years for you before you could get rid of your bad luck.
Will cross your finger or knock on wood help to avoid this bad luck? Some people will do it intentionally to avoid unfortunate or to keep the good luck. It was said that crossing fingers related to the era of early Christianity. Two people used to cross their index fingers when making a wish. One person made a wish and the other gave support and wished a good luck. Over time, this ritual was simplified. With the same purpose, now one person will cross his/her own fingers and say “finger crossed”(1) and it’s enough. There are two stories suggest the origin of knocking on wood. The first version suggests that the sound of knocking would chase away evil spirits from their homes and trees and stop them from ruining one’s good luck. Another story says that in the past the tree worshippers would lay their hands on tree when they were looking for the spirits’ help or when they felt thankful to the supernatural power. As time goes by these rituals develop into the superstition that knocking on wood will keep us away from any misfortune.
After knowing some origins of the superstitions, do you believe in superstition? It’s a fact that every place has its own superstition stories. However, it is important for us to take it with a grain of salt(2).
Do you know any superstitions? Share with us in the comment section :)
1. Cross your fingers atau keep your finger crossed juga sering diucapkan supaya kita mendapatkan hasil sesuai yang kita harapkan.
Contoh: I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll pass my exams. It would be troublesome to retake those exams.
2. Take it with a grain of salt/ a pinch of salt merupakan sebuah idiom yang artinya kita nerima suatu hal atau berita tapi ga sepenuhnya percaya.
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