Superstitions are irrational beliefs about certain objects, events, or behaviors. A superstition is a kind of anxiety or fear that people have. It also reveals a lack of knowledge, for open-minded people, are afraid of nothing.
From black cats to broken mirrors, there are all sorts of superstitions that people believe in. And while some of them may seem harmless enough, others can be downright dangerous if they lead to discrimination or violence against certain people. Here are ten ridiculous superstitions from around the world.
1. Don't walk under a ladder.
This superstition is prevalent in many Western cultures and is thought to date back to medieval times. The rationale is that walking under a ladder forms a triangle, which is a sacred shape. Therefore, by breaking this triangle, you are inviting bad luck into your life.
2. Don't let a black cat cross your path.
This superstition is also common in the West and is said to date back to the Middle Ages. At that time, was an association between black cats, witchcraft, and evil spirits. If one crossed your path, it would bring you bad luck.
3. Don't open an umbrella indoors
The origins of this superstition are unclear, but it is a belief in many parts of the world. The view is that opening an umbrella indoors invites terrible luck or even death into your home. In some cultures, opening an umbrella in someone's presence is rude.
4. Don't step on cracks in the sidewalk
This superstition is prevalent among children, who believe they will break their mother's back if they step on a crack. The origins of this one are also unclear, but it could be because sidewalks made of concrete can crack if stepped on too hard.
5. Don't spill salt
Spilling salt is thought to be unlucky because salt was once a valuable commodity and used to be a currency in many cultures. Therefore, spilling it was equivalent to losing money. This superstition is in the Bible; in the Book of Genesis, Judas Iscariot betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver—the same amount that would have paid for a bushel of salt at the time.
6. Don't put new shoes on the table
In many cultures, putting your shoes on the table or any other surface where food is is considered bad manners. However, there is also a superstitious belief that doing so will bring bad luck or death to those seated at the table. The origins of this one are unknown, but it could be because shoes are often dirtied and can carry germs and bacteria.
7. Don't let a baby cry too long
In some cultures, if a baby cries too long, its tears will turn into pearls or diamonds. While this may sound like a good thing, it isn't; pearls and diamonds are both very costly items, and the baby will have bad luck or even die young by possessing them.
8. Don't give someone scissors as a gift
Giving scissors as a gift is unlucky because they can symbolize cutting ties with someone—such as a friend or family member—or cause arguments and disharmony within a relationship. In some cultures, scissors are sharp and dangerous, so giving them as a present could be interpreted as wanting harm to the recipient.
9. Never place bread upside down
Placing bread upside down—or even allowing it to fall on the floor—is bad luck in many cultures. Bread has always been a symbol of life and nourishment, so turning it upside down or having it fall on the ground would be like harming or killing something living.
10. Never light three cigarettes with the exact match
Lighting three cigarettes with the same match is bad luck in some cultures, especially among soldiers. The rationale behind this superstition is that lighting three cigarettes with one match will use up all of its power, leaving none for future smokers. It could have fatal consequences, especially if soldiers were trying to light their cigarettes in battle and had no matches left.
Conclusion: These are just some of the more popular superstitions from around the world; countless others are also out there. Some people take them very seriously, while others see them as nothing more than harmless fun. While there is some psychology behind why people believe in superstitions, they are just irrational beliefs at the end of the day. There is no scientific evidence to support any of them. So, if you're ever feeling superstitious, remember that it's just your brain playing tricks on you!