Although in post modern society superstitions don’t have much of a place, at least not in the typical sense (think OCD), for most of history they have a played a huge role in shaping culture and society. Whether they are old wives tales, urban legends, or just scary stories every group has their share of them but these are the 25 most popular superstitions around the world.
20. Ringing of the bells
jcgator1.wordpress.com Have you ever wondered why bells are always associated with weddings and special occasions? As it turns out, bells are sounded during special occasions due to the widely held belief that bells frighten evil spirits away. This belief originated during Queen Elizabeth’s reign for two reasons; to ask for prayers for the departed soul and to drive away the evil spirits who stood at the foot of the bed.
15. Counting crows
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lipkee No, im not referring to the 90’s band. It’s believed that the amount of crows in a murder has the ability to predict your fortune as exemplified by the popular phrase: “One’s bad / Two’s luck / Three’s health / Four’s wealth / Five’s sickness / Six is death.” More than six however seems to be up to the person whose counting.
10. Unlucky number 13
www.taringa.net Not to be confused with Friday the 13th (which is a superstition of the actual day) but similar in nature, this superstition simply states that the number 13 is associated with bad luck. That’s why many architects refused (some still do) to design stairs that ended with 13 steps or buildings that ended with a 13th floor. The fear of the number 13 is so real to many people, that an actual phobia has been created to describe it; its called Triskaidekaphobia. (try to say that 13 times fast).
5. Knock on wood
commons.wikimedia.org Knocking on wood, or simply saying “knock on wood” after making a hopeful statement, finds it’s roots in the idea that you’re tempting fate by acknowledging your good fortune. It’s believed that the expression comes from an ancient belief that good spirits lived in trees, so by knocking on something wooden, a person was calling on the spirits for protection. Another reason why we should all be tree hugers.
Read more: http://list25.com/25-strangest-superstitions-ever/