Skipping over the cracks: A look at luck!

Skipping over the cracks: A look at luck!

Hello everyone! Today’s post is specially scheduled to go out during the thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day of the… erm…eleventh month! Yes, it’s that day feared more than others for all kinds of reasons – Friday the 13th.

So do you feel lucky? Well do ya? Will today be filled with joy or will every tiny mishap, hold-up or grumble be the fault of the universe and how the calendar has aligned?

I’ll admit that I hold many superstitions but the number 13 isn’t one of them  – growing up in a house numbered 13 kind of dispelled that concern. However, there are many others I do abide by, almost subconsciously. Actions I perform without thinking in order to keep the cosmos ticking over without incident!

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From an early age, I’d avoid cracks in the pavement, jumping from side to side and teetering on tiptoes just in case I accidentally caused bad luck. What the consequence would be or falling flat on my face (other than displaying my knickers to the world in utter humiliation!) seemed to be determined by whatever myself and my friends thought was the most pressing worry that week. We were only about seven, so these usually sounded something like…

“Eugh… don’t step on the cracks or you’ll have to marry Jamie and have his baaaaabies!”

“Don’t step on the cracks or you’ll have to eat sprouts for EVER!”

“Don’t step on the cracks or Mrs.Higgins will lock you in her classroom. At night. In the dark. And eat you!”

Many of my superstitions come from my Nana. She was incredibly cautious with certain objects, actions and beliefs when she was alive. Refusing point blank to get in a green car, never giving gloves as a present and screaming “Don’t kill it, don’t kill it!” if a spider entered the house were all mantras she lived by.

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She would tell me off for whistling in the house or swinging a door back and forth and remind me that under no circumstances were we to wash clothes on Maundy Thursday (the day before Good Friday). She even considered for many years about changing the number of the family home to 11a. Just in case!

“But why is it bad luck Nana?”

“It just is.”

And who am I to question? What if that one time we DID perform one of the actions and some tragedy was initiated? Best to continue looking like an idiot attempting some war dance every time I drop my keys whilst shouting “STAND ON THEM!”

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But where do all these ideas come from? And does everyone follow the same superstitions? Some I understand – don’t walk under a ladder is quite practical advice really. But others are, well a tad ridiculous if I’m honest. A little research has shown me that superstitions from across the world may have leaked into many other cultures and nations but there are equally as many that are peculiar and particular to a certain country. So here’s my list of the top ten strangest superstitions (in my opinion) from around the globe and history, plus the reasons behind them!

In Japan, children are told to hide their stomachs during a thunderstorm in case Raijin (god of thunder) tries to steal and eat your belly button during the storm.
As someone who has a fear of belly buttons, this practice may need to be adopted….

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In Turkey, it is believed to be bad luck to chew gum at night.
Apparently people believe it becomes the flesh of the dead after dark…

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19th century farmhouses around Vermont in the USA were often built with slanted ‘witch windows’. It was believed that a witch would be unable to fly through on their broomstick at such an angle.
Unless they were a stunt witch of course…

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In Spain, people eat grapes at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bring 12 months of good luck.
But grapes make wine right? So 12 glasses must mean all the luck in the world. Or a headache.

Back in the dark ages of Medieval Britain, woman would make a ‘Groaning Cheese’ – a large wheel of the stuff that was matured for nine months during pregnancy.
It would be shared out among the family for luck after the birth and once only the outer rind was left, the baby would be passed through the ring to be blessed!

Portrait of a baby with a curious expression!

A photograph taken of three people together is believed to signify the person in the middle will die first.
You’re all heading to check your Instagram and Facebook albums now, aren’t you?!

In Russia, carrying an empty bucket or even seeing someone with an empty water carrier is considered ultimate bad luck.
Apparently, Tsar Alexander was assassinated by a man WHO HAD BUCKETS FOR HANDS. Sorry, whaaaaaat?

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In Italy (and many other countries), if a cat sneezes near you it will bring wealth and happiness.
Pity there isn’t a superstition associated with vomiting up hairballs…

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For the Portuguese, walking backwards is considered ill fated as it paves the way for the Devil to enter.
Plus, you can’t see those cracks you’ve been trying to avoid!

People the world over believed that cameras could capture your soul when photography was first invented.
Plus, if an enemy acquired the photograph, they would have endless power over you. I once employed someone who continued to believe this – Obtaining his ID badge was an absolute nightmare!

Victorian Gas-mask Photographers

Which superstitions do you abide by? Do you know anymore weird and wonderful beliefs? If so, I’d love to hear them in the comments. Until then, keep your shoes off the table, whip out the rabbit’s foot and hibernate until tomorrow, just in case. There’s only ten hours to go then we’re free until 2016!


Image Credits: blog.willis.com , www.hexjam.com , www.prevention.com , hubpages.com , www.animalplanet.com , www.shootingfilm.net , Pinterest and Wikipedia.

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26 thoughts on “Skipping over the cracks: A look at luck!

  1. Interesting tidbits of information. Where do you find some of these things. I’ve heard the step on the crack and break your moms back one, but Im not superstitious. I laugh at us actually having a not great friday the 13th this year. Usually they go so well. Hope you had a great Friday the 13th!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oops I meant to write more. But hit send accidentally. Anyway loved the post. Although the one superstition about the person in the middle of the picture dying first brought tomind all my recent pictures where I’m unfortunately in the centre.. 😟

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha the times I do that. I blame my fat thumbs! Glad you liked it, even if it has given you heebie jeebies over your photos – I’m sure I’ll intend to avoid the middle but will have probably forgotten about this when it comes to saying ‘cheese’!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha.. I went over the said pictures later, and luckily there are 4 of us. Thanks to the guy who photobombed. Phew! (There’s something wrong with my WordPress app. So unless I use my laptop, I cant view some notifications!- hence the late reply)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great set of superstitions! Actually, in Russia, carrying an empty bucket is okay but seeing a woman (preferably an old woman “babushka”) with empty buckets is bad luck. It’s called “baba s pustimi vedrami” =) Thank goodness we finally have bags instead of buckets now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, thank goodness indeed! I shall have to make an amendment now you’ve enlightened me, thanks! What’s with the buckets for hands story? That must be urban legend, surely? I also now have an urge to listen to Kate Bush’s ‘Babooshka’ – the chorus is stuck in my head!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not surprised at all – I wasn’t sure if she would have made it across to Russian music charts. Plus it’s really old. She’s a crazy lady is Kate Bush. Reminds me of a forerunner to Björk 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. *laughs* Great post! So, I was always told if I stepped on a crack, I’d break my mother’s back. And I always stepped on a crack. Of course, I never wanted to break my mom’s back. I suppose I was just testing things.

    Witch windows! I need one, just for kicks.

    You know, I think I’m always in the middle of my pics…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The witch windows are awesome, aren’t they? I just love their higgledy-piggledness!
      You’re the second person to know the crack rhyme. I’d never heard of it, but now I’m definitely glad I avoided them!

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      1. It must be a US rhyme, that or I’ve been living under a rock! And higgledy-piggledy / cockeyed / skew-whiff… There are some great phrases for ‘wonky’!

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  5. “If you step on a crack, it will break your mother’s back” was a chant from my childhood. It did not come from the adults, it was one of those rhymes that children seem to pass on from one to another. I think the origin of so many superstitions comes from a time when death was sudden and very near. So, if a person had done a specific thing and then died, well, people would make a connection and pass the message on to the next generation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve not heard that rhyme! I think you’re right though, and this is how they get twisted and changed over time and across countries. Fascinates me just how many variations there are!

      Like

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