3 superstitions from English-speaking countries The number 13 will bring you bad luck : In many English-speaking countries, the number 13 is considered unlucky. And Friday 13th is the day for misfortune. This superstition is so common that some hotels avoid having the 13th floor, and airlines don’t give tickets for the 13th row. But why? Apparently, the origins are religious. At Jesus Christ’s last Supper, there were thirteen people around the table (including
Christ and the twelve apostles); and Friday was the day that Christ was crucified. Fear of the number 13 is a specifically-recognized phobia. Knock on wood to stop bad things from happening : If you’ re talking about something and you don’t want it to happen, you need to knock on a piece of wood and say “touch wood! ” For example, if you say, “I’ve never had an accident”, you need to lap on a piece of wood so you dont actually have an accident yourself. This comes from an ancient belief that good pirits lived in trees.
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However, when the tree was cut down, the spirits inside would die and evil spirits would take over. By knocking on the wood, you could drive away the evil spirits, and prevent any misfortune. If you break a mirror, you’ll have seven years’ bad luck: It was an ancient belief that mirrors could capture your soul, so breaking a mirror was like damaging your spirit. The only way to counter the bad luck is to bury the broken pieces in a hole and to cover them up with mud.