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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 13-Jan-06

 


Friday 13-Jan-06

Superstitions

It's Friday 13th today. Perhaps lucky that I worked at home today, thought that was because I had to go to the dentist. Lucky also maybe that she didn't make any slips, touch wood. My son has one of his A-level exams today. I've got my fingers crossed for him, too.

Friday 13th is special because the Christian last supper was on Good Friday and there were 13 people there, though goodness knows why this is linked to bad luck. Presumably it is to do with that it was just before the crucifixion. For the word-lovers, by the way, the fear of Friday 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia.

Superstitions play a large part in many people's lives, and it is amazing how even qualified scientists will take due care, such as not walking under a ladder (which forms the magic symbol of a triangle against the wall). I have my hand up here too.

When following a superstition does not harm, like touching wood when hoping something bad will not happen, it can add gentle amusement to conversations and does not really damage lives. It is different, however, when it becomes an obsession that consume time and creates anxiety.

Superstitions are particularly prevalent where critical performances take place, such as on stage or on the race-track, and performers will go through all kinds of rigmaroles to ward off bad luck and bring on the good. At best, this at least occupies them and helps calm the nerves. At worst, they are overcome by the obsession with bad luck that often accompanies low self-esteem.

As ever, there are many sites on the web about superstitions. Here are a few:

http://www.oldsuperstitions.com/

http://www.corsinet.com/trivia/scary.html

http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/superstitions.htm

http://www.huddersfield1.co.uk/weirdtales/weirdtalessuperstitions.htm

 


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