Spotlight

Superstitions around the world

America isn’t the only place with strange traditions

Hayden Cohrs, Staff Writer

 In America, we always hear about people having superstitions, like walking under ladders, black cats or fearing Friday the 13th.

These all seem pretty silly, but to some people, it can be pretty serious. It’s not just America, though. People all over the world have superstitions and some of them start at different origins than the ones we’re used to doing.

In America, people are superstitious of Friday the 13th, which is two days away. This fear started because at dawn on October 13 in 1307, King Philip IV had ordered a ‘de Molay’ and the scores of all the other French Templars to be arrested with no warning.

The Templars were charged with a large number of other offenses, such as financial corruption, fraud, and secrecy. Since then, people have feared Friday the 13th as a day that brings bad luck.

In Italy, the number 13 is not feared but the number 17 is. It has to do with Jesus. In Italy, people fear Friday the 17th and the fear coincides with the number 1. The number can be arranged as the sum of Roman numerals VIXI, which then can be translated into a Latin phrase called “I have lived”, which people basically think means “My life is over” or “I’m dead.” It translates to having something to do with Jesus’s crucifixion.

In America, it is normal to whip out a piece of gum and chew it, right? It’s just an everyday thing for some of us throughout the day, no superstitions, nothing spooky at all about it, but in Turkey, it’s a whole different story.

In certain parts of Turkey, people are superstitious about chewing gum after dark. You better brush your teeth in Turkey because legend says that instead of chewing gum, you might be chewing on the rotten flesh of the dead. It is just a superstition though, nothing to be that worried about.

Some Americans are superstitious about cute little black cats, and the reason why? They’re known to be bad luck because back in the olden days, single women who had black cats were witches, who could turn into those cats, meaning a black cat crossing your path could be a witch.

In Germany, it’s believed that if a black cat crosses a person’s path from left to right, it’s a bad omen, which basically just means bad luck. Surprisingly though, in Britain and Japan, black cats are considered good luck because if a woman owns a black cat it’s supposed to mean she’ll have lots of partners and/or find love.  

Throughout most of our childhoods, we were told if you broke a mirror you would have seven years of bad luck, which is just a silly American superstition that evolved from times when people used water as a mirror. If they looked into the water and if the water was distorted, it meant they’d die soon.

In Rome, they believe if you break a mirror, the seven years of bad luck was supposed to be time for the soul to renew itself, and the only way you can overcome the bad luck is to bury the broken mirror pieces deeply into the ground.

There are tons of more superstitions in all places around the world, most of them involve mirrors and soul taking, but they’re all different in different places of the world.

Do you believe in them enough to try them?

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About the Writer
Hayden Cohrs, Online Editor

Hi. My name is Hayden Cohrs. I'm a senior, and I have been in Student Publications since the second semester of my sophomore year. This year I’m your...

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Superstitions around the world