London Five’s Superstitions

London 5

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Posted 29/12/14
By Esin Huseyin


With the New Year on the horizon it’s a time for us to reflect and plan what we’ll be doing with a clean slate.

Resolution making is a tradition upheld by many – but we also follow certain customs, or some may say superstitions. In today’s post I bring you some of these through the ages.

Feet First

Superstitions surrounding death were pretty rife during the Victorian era that it actually warrants a post of it’s own. However, after some research I found one of the most interesting, and one that I didn’t know, which is that bodies were carried out of the house feet first. This was to prevent the spirit of the deceased from looking back in to the house and beckoning another family member to follow suit.

 

Ravens

Unlike the Magpie, where seeing more than one is considered lucky, seeing more than one raven is considered really bad. This is a pretty odd superstition considering the Tower of London is full to the brim with them – if the birds leave, the crown of England will be lost, supposedly.

 

Umbrellas

Yes of course, everyone and their mum knows the old saying “don’t open your umbrella indoors it’s bad luck” – but truth is, where did it come from? After reading up on this particular superstition, there are hints at this deriving from 18th century London, as this was around the time when waterproof umbrellas became the norm; only thing was they had huge metal spokes. You can only imagine that due to this a lot of accidents occurred, and so the superstition of opening an umbrella indoors was born.

 

Ladders

But we already know this one, you may ask. It’s one we all know and love, that walking under a ladder will bring you bad luck. But did you know that it actually derives from Elizabethan London, and it’s relation to the gallows and executions. I’m sure that will make you think, next time.

 

Sneezing

Saying “bless you” is a common response to a sneeze, but did you know this may have something to do with the plague. Sneezing was seen as the first symptom of the plague, so many people would say a blessing to ward off the disease – how much truth is in this, I don’t know, but it’s as good an answer as any.

 

Do you guys have any superstitions you follow in your daily life? Let me know in the comments below.