The four-leaf clover
The desire of man to protect himself from unknown forces, or to create good fortune for himself, has led to thousands upon thousands of superstitions the world over. In fact, we can roughly divide superstitions into those that are supposed to bring good luck and those that are supposed to bring bad luck.
Why is the four-leaf clover lucky?
The four-leaf clover is believed by people all over the world to be a sign of coming good fortune and happiness. It is such an old superstition that no one can say exactly how or where it began. But there is an old legend about it that some people believe. The legend is that when eve was sent away from paradise, she took a four –leaf clover with her. Because the clover was a bit of green from the garden of paradise, it came to be considered an omen of good luck if found in one’s own garden.
Just as widespread, and just as hard to explain, is the common belief that a horseshoe is lucky. Almost every country has a different legend or tradition concerning the horseshoe. The irish say that the horse was in the stable where Christ was born, and therefore the horseshoe has magical power. In Russia, the blacksmith used to be considered a kind of magician, and it is claimed he used the horseshoe as a charm in performing his magic. Even the ancient romans believed that finding a cast-off horseshoe in the road would protect one from illness. This may be because iron at one time was regarded as a good-luck charm.
When it comes to bad-luck omens, the fear of a black cat is one of the oldest. In the middle ages, when people believed in witches, it was assumed that witches and evil spirits took the form of the black cat. Today, many people are still uneasy to see a black cat across their path.
The broken mirror is another bad-luck superstition that goes back to ancient times. In ancient Greece it was believed that one saw the will of the gods in the mirror. Therefore, if a mirror was broken accidentally, it meant that the gods didn’t want the person to see the future because it held unpleasant things.
The romans believed that a person’s health changed ever seven years. Since the mirror reflected the health of a person, they thought that breaking a mirror meant that the health of a person would be broken for seven years.