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Do You Believe in Luck?
What Is Luck?
Do you believe in fate, fortune and good luck? Or do you believe in coincidence and things happening through accident whether good or bad.
When something good happens it is said to be lucky. It could be winning the lottery or wishing for something to come true. No matter how big or how small, we all experience this 'good luck' at some point in our lives. We just have to be aware of it.
Superstitions, Old Wives Tales, Rituals, Omens, Proverbs and Prophecy
If you are superstitious you may carry out rituals or routines known from folklore or as 'old wives tales'. These rituals or beliefs are passed down from generations to encourage good behaviour or to bring good luck. Old wives tales are usually myths but are so well known and many people believe there is some truth to them. However, some ideas do not have scientific links. Going outside with wet hair is said to lead to a cold. It seems plausible but we know that a cold is a virus which is passed on, and not developed from actually being cold.
There are many superstitions that people believe in today. These are all linked to doing things to avoid or bring on good luck - something good which will happen to us. So, if we happen to see a Magpie before lunchtime we will have bad luck for the rest of the day. Or if we walk under a ladder bad luck will strike, and a broken mirror brings seven years bad luck. The list of superstitions is endless, but most of us don't even know where they originate from, let alone why they would cause so much damage.
Different cultures have different beliefs which may be traditional or have religious links. They may bring people together or bring joy. A good example would be letting off Chinese Lanterns as a sign of good fortune in China. It is part of a celebration carried out at New Year.
If you believe hard enough in something then maybe it could happen, but is there a link between science and fate? Something may be considered lucky, but what if you weren't aware that it is? Will it still bring good luck? It is said that the number thirteen is unlucky, and every Friday the thirteenth brings bad luck. But if you were out driving that day and crashed your car thinking about what day it is, would it be down to panic and anxiety of it actually happening, or fate?
I could have a really good day today. Nice things could happen, or I may just avoid dropping things on the floor or tripping over the pavement. Is it down to luck that I didn't break my arm, or smash my best plate? I may not even know that the sidewalk was uneven.
Perhaps luck is down to what you want to believe, and it really is just a coincidence. But we still wish our friends good luck before an exam, or cross our fingers before tossing a pancake. Whether we believe in it or not, it still would be rude not to tell you best friend to 'break a leg' before an important event now, wouldn't it?
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
EIGHT FOR A WISH
NINE FOR A KISS
TEN FOR A BIRD NEVER TO BE MISSED
Examples and Reasons for Superstitions
Throughout history rituals and superstitions have been followed, although it is unclear where some originate from. Some come from more than one idea, but here are some thoughts:
Finding a Four Leafed clover is lucky
In Irish tradition, the shamrock of a three leafed clover represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The forth leaf represents God's Grace
Breaking a mirror will bring you seven years bad luck
Mirrors were first created by the Romans. Along with the Greeks, Chinese, Indian and African cultures, the Romans believed a broken mirror currupted the soul
A bride on her wedding day must wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue
- Something old represents good friends. An old garter given to the bride by a happily married woman brings luck.
- Something new is a symbol for a prosperous marriage
- Something borrowed is an item lent by a member of the family. If it is returned, good luck comes
- Something blue originates from ancient Isreal and represents fidelity
Never place a new pair of shoes on the table
This could bring family arguments or death in the family. Shoes were affixed by hobnails, and placing new shoes on a table could risk scratching it
A peacock plume is unlucky
Having a peacock plume in your house brings in the 'evil eye' associated with demons. The feather has eye markings similar to this
An itchy palm means good fortune
A right itchy palm means money will come your way, but if you scratch it, it will prevent it coming. An itchy left palm however means the opposite
Cold hands, warm heart
As an old English proverb, a reserved exterior of a person will disguise kindness
Deaths come in three's
The 'Law of Three's' come from the Holy trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)
If a bird flies into your room, a death would occur
There are many superstitions surrounding birds. Birds were associated with the spirits with mystical powers. If one entered the house, a death would come days later. If a bird tapped on the window of a house with a sick person, this was also a bad omen
A pregnant woman must not attend a funeral
In Jewish tradition, the evil eye (ayin hara) will harm you if you are happy. Pregnant women were warned to keep away from cemeteries
Friday the 13th is an unlucky day
Christ was said to be crucified on a Friday and there were 13 guests at the Last Supper. The 13th guest was Judas, the traitor
Knock on wood
In England it was once believed sanctuary could be found in church, even for a robber or murderer. Knocking on the wooden door of the chruch allowed them to enter