Friday 13th

It’s here again! The day that terrifies some people into staying at home and not daring to venture out of their homes for fear of being involved in some unfortunate situation.

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First of all, let’s understand why we have Friday 13th as the unluckiest day of the month. It is said that this legend dates back as far as biblical times when old Judas Iscariot was the 13th guest at the dinner table for the Last Supper with Jesus, who was crucified on a Friday.

It is believed that the famous composer Gioachino Rossini had an influence in the history of this day (Click here to read about him.) If you want to find out why, just click the link.

Very Superstitious

A List of unlucky symbols – Click the link to open a page from Wikipedia, showing a list of unlucky symbols and superstitions. Let’s examine a few now:

A Black Cat

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Well, it is believed that this goes back to the medieval times of witches and wizards. In those times they believed people with magical powers could turn themselves into cats to hide from the clergy and the King or Queens guards when they were on a witch-hunt.

Friday 17th

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When I first came to Italy, I noticed that this day was considered unlucky. A little research will tell you why. The Roman numerals for the number 17  (VXII) are VIXI when rearranged. This means, “I have lived.” There’s nothing wrong with that, you say. Nonetheless, it means to the Italians, “my life is over.” A bad omen indeed.

 

A Horseshoe

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It is believed that iron wards off evil spirits. Traditionally being held to the horse’s hoof with 7 nails, this was a deterrent against evil. Well, the story gets better. There was this saint in the 10th century named Dunstan. He was a smithie (a blacksmith.) One day the devil walked into his shop (like the devil just strolls around town with normal folk) and asked Dunstan to shoe his horse.  He tricked the devil and put the shoe on him instead, only removing when the devil promised not to enter a house with a horseshoe over the door. The position has been under debate for centuries, though. They say that if it is facing up, the luck falls into the shoe. Facing down over an entrance door, the luck falls onto the people entering the house.

The Raven

 

It is said that if the ravens in the Tower of London ever left, the Kingdom of England will fall. (Read here for more information.) Basically, what happened during World War II was that most of the Tower’s ravens perished. Only a pair remained, though one of them flew away not long before the Tower opened after the war. The other one flew off a few weeks later to find its mate. The story got out into the paper with reference to the superstition that the British Empire would fall if the ravens weren’t in the Tower. Funnily enough, shortly after the Empire was brought down. This brought some confirmation to some superstitious believers, which in turn forced the Tower to make sure there were some new ravens in the Tower when they opened for business.

Well, that’s all from me on this legendary day. I hoped you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 

Click here to book English lessons with me, Teacher Dominic.

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Thanks for reading.

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