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Watch out for that black cat!

Why does over half the American population believe in superstitions?   Possibly because it might be an explanation for the unexplainable or, perhaps, it might give an illusion of control in an uncertain world.   

Just in time for Halloween, I thought I would share with you some of the more common superstitions:

*Friday the 13th some feel, means bad luck.  Many hotels and apartments do not have a 13th floor; airplanes do not have a 13th row.  There is even a name for the phobia of fearing the number 13: Triskaidekaphobia.

*Itchy palms are good luck and means that you will have money coming your way, although some believe it means the person is greedy and has an insatiable desire for money.

*Walking under a ladder was believed to be bad luck, especially if something fell on your head.

*Breaking a mirror can give you bad luck for 7 years, and coincidentally that is how long it takes to fully rejuvenate the entire physical body.  To reverse this luck the mirror should be buried outside by moonlight.

*Knocking twice on wood reverses bad luck.  This came from the time when people thought the gods lived in trees and if a favor was needed, the person would lightly touch the bark of the tree.  To say thank you after the favor was granted, the person would knock lightly one more time.

*Saying “God Bless You” after someone sneezes is a common superstition with varying ideas on how this came about.  In the 6th century, people were congratulated for sneezing because they were expelling evil spirits.  Early Romans believed that a good sneeze could release your soul into the world, and a “bless you” would keep it safe.  When the plague hit Europe in 1665, the pope mandated that everyone should be blessed when they sneezed since they were probably going to die.  The blessing was usually followed up with the sign of a cross for good measure.

Do you have a quirky superstition you would like to share?  We would love to hear about it, please!

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