You know the drill: don’t walk under a ladder, don’t spill salt, never cross paths with a black cat, etc. We’ve all heard them, and we’ve all probably dutifully followed them at one point or another. But do you ever stop to wonder where these superstitions came from?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the origins of some of the most well-known superstitions. We’ll explore why people believe in them, and we’ll even try to figure out where they might have come from.
So why not take a stroll down Superstition Lane? It’s bound to be an interesting journey!
What Is a Superstition?
Do you know why it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder? Why you should never put new shoes on a table? Why you should knock on wood?
If you’re scratching your head, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Superstitions are irrational beliefs that future events can be influenced by unrelated behaviours. For example, walking under a ladder is bad luck because it’s considered to be disrespectful to the person who died on the ladder.
Superstitions originate from ancient cultures when people sought to explain mysterious events with the little education they had. For example, when a thunderstorm struck, people would be scared and often didn’t understand what was happening. So they would come up with superstitious explanations like “god was angry” in order to make sense of their world.
Despite the dominance of science, superstitious beliefs remain surprisingly popular. A study by Pew Research found that nearly half of the people in a certain country believe in at least one superstition – like knocking on wood to prevent bad luck.
Origins of Common Superstitions.
Superstitions began centuries ago when people sought to explain mysterious events and circumstances with the little education they had. They were afraid of the dark, of things they couldn’t see or understand, and of things that went bump in the night. In modern times, despite the advances in science, superstitious beliefs remain surprisingly popular. The concept of superstition is defined as a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.
So why do we still believe in these silly superstitions? Some people say it’s because we’re a lazy species – we’d rather believe that there’s some hidden meaning or force at work than accept that sometimes things just happen for no reason. Others say it’s because we’re afraid of death and the unknown. But whatever the reason may be, one thing is for sure: superstitions are here to stay.
Knocking on Wood.
One popular legend says that knocking on wood started as a way to thank the tree spirits for helping you out. Others say that it’s a way to keep the devil at bay. But like most superstitions, no one really knows for sure where it came from.
What we do know is that knocking on wood is one of the oldest superstitions around, and it doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
Stepping on a Crack
You know the one – the superstition that if you step on a crack, your mother will break her back. But where did this superstition come from?
As it turns out, there’s no one definitive answer to these questions. Some say that the superstition originated with ancient Egyptians, while others believe that it originated with Scottish Highlanders. Still, others believe that it came from African tribes who thought that stepping on a crack would lead to disaster.
Why do so many people believe in it? Some say that it’s because of our fear of breaking bones. Others say that it’s because we’re afraid of being punished by God. Whatever the reason, this superstition is one of the most widely held in the world.
Breaking a Mirror
If you’re thinking of breaking a mirror, think again. You might not realize it, but you’re actually breaking one of the most common superstitions in the world.
Believe it or not, this superstition dates back to ancient Greece and Rome. Back then, mirrors were seen as a portal to the spirit world, and breaking one was thought to unleash all sorts of evil spirits into the world.
These days, of course, we know that mirrors are just made of glass. But the superstition remains – so be careful if you ever decide to smash one!
You may be surprised to learn where some of your favourite superstitions came from. Who knew that some of them were actually based on science?
Superstitions, like most things in life, have a history and a reason for existing. Some of them may be more ridiculous than others, but they all stem from some sort of belief or experience.