Welcoming in robins and frogs

Published 10:33 am Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Superstitions….Stevie Wonder didn’t corner the market on them in his smash hit from 1972….we all have our fair share of some sort of belief or notion that’s not based on reason or knowledge.

Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? It is said that Christ was crucified on Friday and the number of guests at the party of the Last Supper was 13, with the 13th guest being Judas, the traitor.

What about black cats? According to ancient Egyptian lore, the Goddess Bast was a black, female cat. Christians, wanting to rid society of all traces of other religions, convinced the ignorant that black cats were demons in disguise and should thus be destroyed. Being demons, a black cat crossing your path would create a barrier of evil, cutting you off from God and blocking the entrance to heaven.

It’s deemed as bad luck if a bat flies into your house; an owl hooting three times; three butterflies flying together; glancing at the new moon over your left shoulder; finding a five-leaf clover; putting a shirt on inside out; hearing a rooster crow at night; cutting your nails on a Friday; and putting a hat on a bed.

But what about good luck? Knocking on wood came from a belief that good spirits lived in trees. Thusly, by knocking on anything made from wood, we could call upon these spirits for protection against misfortune.

While a bat making its way into your house is bad luck, a robin performing that same feat is considered good luck, as is finding a frog in your home.

Good luck superstitions also include sneezing three times before breakfast; looking at the new moon over your right shoulder; a four-leaf clover; putting a dress on inside out; hearing crickets singing; cutting your hair during a storm; sleeping facing south; sleeping on un-ironed sheets; finding a ladybug on you; and picking up a piece of coal that has fallen in your path. The latter belief also includes finding a penny along your route, but you are only supposed to reach down and retrieve it when it’s “heads-up.”

According to those who believe in such things, if a bee enters your home it’s a sign that you will soon have a visitor. If you kill the bee you will have bad luck, or the visitor will be unpleasant. If a swarm of bees settles on your roof it’s an omen that the house will burn down.

Believe it or not, but brooms seem to carry some sort of magical power and they have nothing to do with transporting witches. If you sweep trash out the door after dark, it will bring a stranger to visit. If someone is sweeping the floor and sweeps over your feet, you’ll never get married. Never take a broom along when you move; throw it out and buy a new one. To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.

A horseshoe, hung above a doorway, will bring good luck to a home. In most of Europe, protective horseshoes are placed in a downward facing position, but in some parts of Ireland and Britain people believe that the shoes must be turned upward or ‘the luck will run out.”

And, it’s been said that a horseshoe hung in the bedroom will keep nightmares away.


Cal Bryant is the Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at cal.bryant@r-cnews.com or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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