Friday the 13th: Which superstitions are particularly widespread?

The Top 10 Superstitions
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What brings good luck? What brings bad luck?
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We have summarized the most important or widespread superstitions

1. The black cat

Good luck or bad luck? A black cat crossing your path is a bad omen.

Origin: Cats are almost silent, their eyes glow, and they are said to have nine lives. Add the black color, and all these traits give the black cat a connection to the demonic. That is why many people consider the black cat to be a messenger of bad luck.


In ancient Egypt, cats were revered as sacred animals. But in European countries, the cat was seen as the appearance of a witch. This reinforced the superstition.

What to do? If a black cat crosses your path, you should avoid it. But you don't have to turn back immediately. Fortunately, there is a remedy: just spit three times before you continue on your way! (Or try petting it if you like cats)

2. The four-leaf clover

Good luck or bad luck? If a shamrock has four leaves instead of the usual three, it's a real lucky charm. Important: You have to find it yourself - by chance!

Origin: There was talk of this lucky charm as early as the 15th century. When travelling, the four-leaf clover is supposed to bring luck, especially if it is placed in the shoe and allowed to slowly dissolve. Those who swallow the clover are said to be able to win over their sweetheart.

What to do? Opinions differ on this. Some pick the clover, some just look at it. Some people even bite off the four-leaf clover for good luck.



3. Standing up with the left foot

Good or bad luck? If you stand up with your left foot, it's best to lie down again straight away.

Origin: Even in ancient Rome, the right foot was considered "the right one" and the left foot "the wrong one." Since then, the saying "You probably got up with your left foot first" has endured.

What to do? Get up with the right foot!

4. Shooting star

These burning out celestial bodies have been considered a good omen for centuries. People used to believe that angels cleaned the candles of the sky, letting the wicks, or what we call shooting stars, fall to the ground.

What to do? Make a quick wish before the shooting star burns out. The wish should be "thought" and not spoken out loud!

5. Spilling salt

Good luck or bad luck? Spilling salt (for example, when cooking or dining) is considered a bad omen.

Origin: In the past, salt was very valuable, so spilling some of the precious commodity was indeed bad luck. And even though salt is comparatively cheap and easy to replace now, the superstition has persisted to this day.


What can be done? Use salt sparingly, or throw a pinch over your left shoulder after you spill it to reverse the bad luck.

6. The rainbow

Good luck or bad luck? It is said that if you see a rainbow, it will bring you good luck. However, you shouldn't point a finger at it because that finger will fall off, according to ancient belief!

Origin: The rainbow has long been revered as a work of God. Our ancestors could not explain the colorful spectacle and regarded it as a kind of miracle. They believed that there were treasures at the end of the rainbow. The rainbow was therefore also a symbol of wealth for them.

What to do? Admire the rainbow and wait for happiness and wealth, but do not point a finger at God's work.


7. The horseshoe

Good luck or bad luck? The horseshoe is commonly regarded as a good luck charm. That's not quite accurate; instead, it wards off bad luck.

Origin: Horses have always been regarded as magical animals with a connection to the afterlife. As a talisman, the horseshoe was supposed to scare off spirits and demons who were afraid of the iron metal. The rule is that the horseshoe must have been worn and lost before it is picked up by the lucky finder - as is the case with the four-leaf clover. Even today, the horseshoe is still hammered on the door of many old farms as a symbol of protection. Some Mercedes drivers have also screwed it onto their radiator grille. Always with the opening facing upwards, of course, so that the good luck doesn't fall out.


What to do? If you happen to find a worn horseshoe, you no longer need to fear evil spirits! But you also don't have to screw it to your car right away.

8. The ladybird

Good luck or bad luck? Small and cute - a lucky charm, of course!

Origin: The ladybird takes its name from the Virgin Mary - it is under her protection. It indicates sun and rain - if it flies upwards, the weather will be good, if it flies downwards, it will get worse. And whoever follows the ladybird will find his or her beloved.

What to do? Take good care of the ladybirds - whoever kills a ladybird will be punished by God himself!


9. The Chimney Sweep

Good luck or bad luck? Black soot and working in the dark - surprisingly, the chimney sweep is still considered a lucky charm.

Origin: Anyone who is constantly working in dark, sooty shafts, surrounded by evil spirits, and yet comes out alive must have something good attached to him. That is why the chimney sweep is regarded as a lucky charm.

What to do? Maybe climb into a chimney yourself? Or leave that to the real lucky charms... just make sure to get him into your house once a year!


10. The toadstool

Good luck or bad luck? The toadstool might be poisonous but it's still a symbol of good luck. 

Origin: The fly agaric was used in ancient times as a hallucinogenic agent that was supposed to give insight into the spiritual world. Although the mushroom is poisonous, only in rare cases does its consumption leads to death. Nausea and stomach cramps are the usual consequences of eating the toadstool. In Prussia, the fly agaric was considered an edible mushroom, and in some regions of Japan, it is still consumed today. However, the toxins are removed during preparation. But why is the fly agaric considered a lucky charm? Because of its hallucinogenic effect, it was believed that the mushroom was animate. Its "magic power" and bright red color made it a lucky mushroom!

What to do? Even though eating toadstools isn't usually fatal, you definitely should not eat them! Nevertheless, the toadstool is still a lucky charm.

Some old folk wisdom

"Do not walk after sunset!"

"Walking under a ladder is bad luck!"

"If you open an umbrella in your room, you'll bring trouble into your house"

"Gifts made of glass cut up a marriage"

"Hiccups tell you that someone is thinking of you"

"If the dog eats grass, there will be bad weather"

"Broken glass brings good luck"

"Spider in the evening, restorative and healing"

What are your favorite superstitions?


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Since the beginning of mankind, people have tried to get a glimpse of the future. For this purpose, the most diverse techniques and aids such as cards, runes, pendulums and many more are used.