Touching wood most popular superstition
Touching wood is Britain’s most popular superstitious belief, a recent psychological survey has revealed .
Next came crossing fingers, avoiding walking under ladders, not smashing mirrors, carrying a lucky charm, and worrying about the number 13.
Women were generally more superstitious than men, and the Scottish appeared to be the most superstitious people in the UK, the findings showed.
Dr Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, carried out the survey.
He said : “This is a self-selecting sample, so we need to treat the results with some caution. However, they have given a real insight into the world of superstitions and what people believe. It also appears that the rise in science and technology has not stopped people holding unusual beliefs.”
Current levels of superstitious behaviour in the UK were surprisingly high, he said.
The Scots topped the superstition league table, followed by the English, the Welsh and the Northern Irish.
Women were more superstitious than men, and young people more superstitious than older generations.
Superstitious people tended to worry about life, have a strong need for control, and feel uncomfortable with ambiguity.
A total of 2,068 people took part in the superstition survey by answering questions on a website.
Some 77% indicated that they were at least a little superstitious and/or engaged in some form of superstitious behaviour.
A total of 42% indicated that they were “very/somewhat” superstitious.
Surprisingly, a quarter of people who said they had a background in science belonged to the latter category.
Adapted from an origianal article in the Daily Mail
Posted on Sat 25th Aug 2012 22:23:30
Police Use Pyramid Power To Prevent Car Crashes
In a bid to stop car crashes, traffic police in Nagpur, India, are tapping into pyramid power. They’ve buried 30cm tall replicas of the mystical Egyptian mounuments at 12 accident-prone spots along the city’s national highway to convert negative energy that may cause car crashes into positive energy that will keep drivers safe.
Strangely since their installation six months ago, there have been no accidents along the highway.
Posted on Thu 6th Oct 2011 16:44:48
There are many superstitions and omens surrounding tea drinking even including the prediction of marriage. Here’s a few:
It’s unlucky to stir tea with anything but a spoon and to stir someone else’s tea with a spoon is said to stir trouble for them.
If the tea you make is unexpectedly weak, it means a friendship is weakening. If it’s unusually strong, a friendship is growing stronger.
If you spill tea while making a pot, it forecasts luck for the woman of the house.
To break a teapot is thought to be an omen of losing a loved one.
To inadvertently place two spoons in a cup of tea is a sign of marriage for the person drinking the tea.
Posted on Fri 12th Aug 2011 22:29:03
Lucky Charms Do Work
They are taken to exams, job interviews and weddings in the hope they will bring good fortune.
But rather than being mere superstition, lucky charms do actually work, psychologists claim.
In a recent study researchers told half the golfers on a putting green that they were playing with a lucky ball, and the rest that they were playing with a normal one.
Those with the lucky ball sank 6.4 putts out of 10, nearly two more putts on average than the others – an increase of of 35 per cent.
The results have sparked huge interest among behavioural psychologists who say they put luck in a different light.
The research from the University of Cologne was on just 28 students but the results are being considered significant.
But the figures will also be an encouragement for the millions who cling to a lucky shirt or ring on special occasions to bring them fortune.
And even celebrities have often admitted relying on a lucky charm.
Cameron Diaz has a necklace given to her by a friend because she thinks it will ward off the effects of aging, while Julie Walters kept a lucky piece of coal in her bag during one Oscars ceremony.
Perhaps the most bizarre tradition among celebrities is that Atonement star James McAvoy says ‘white rabbit’ on the first of every month to the first person he sees – because his grandmother taught him that it brings good luck.
In recent years office desks have seen a proliferation of teddy bears and trinkets intended to bring good luck.
Also, quiz shows such as Deal Or No Deal and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire where treasured items are brought on in the hope they will give contestants the edge in the quest to win a fortune.
Lysann Damisch, co-author of the study, set to be published in the journal Psychological Science in June, said: ‘Our results suggest that the activation of a superstition can indeed yield performance-improving effects.’
Stuart Vyse, professor of psychology at Connecticut College, added: ‘Simply being told this is a lucky ball is sufficient to affect performance.’
Mathematicians have demonstrated in the past the role that randomness plays in people’s lives, but this has not stopped many believing the opposite.
A recent survey found that 77 per cent of people were at least a little superstitious and/or engaged in some form of superstitious behaviour.
A total of 42 per cent said that they were ‘very or somewhat’ superstitious.
Posted on Sun 24th Jul 2011 19:47:40
Engagement Ring Luck
To have a friend make a wish upon your engagement ring is said to be lucky. But it’s considered unlucky to let a friend try on your engagement ring.
It’s also unlucky to wear an engagement ring on your ring finger before you are officially engaged.
It is luckier to have a new engagement ring than one worn by someone else
A solitaire cut stone is said to indicate a solitary existence!
Posted on Fri 22nd Jul 2011 14:53:41
There are many superstitions surrounding salt that have persisted through the years. Here are just a few:
If you spill salt immediately throw a pinch of the spilled salt over your left shoulder to avoid bad luck. The salt is said to go into the eyes of the devil, who is said to lurk on the left hand side of the body.
Because salt preserves food, to spill salt is said to be an omen of a broken friendship – it fortells that the relationship will not be preserved.
To pass the salt to someone at the dining table is said to ‘help them to sorrow’
Posted on Fri 22nd Jul 2011 14:44:22
Wedding Dress Omens
There are many superstitions surrounding marriage that are still believed even in the 21st C by those about to tie the knot.
Here’s a few more you may or may not know about:
Married in white you have chosen right,
Married in green ashamed to be seen,
Married in grey you will go far away
Married in blue you will always be true
Married in yellow,you’re ashamed of your fellow
Married in black you will wish yourself back,
Married in pink of you he’ll think.
It’s an omen your husband will be unfaithful if you allow a friend to try on your wedding dress or outfit before you’re married
You will attract wealth into your marriage by taping a coin or money note to the inside of your shoes so that you are standing on money when taking your vows.
It’s consider lucky to have an even number of guests at a wedding and unlucky to have an odd number
Posted on Sat 9th Jul 2011 15:46:13
Love Tips: Using Water To Forecast Love
Cut a piece of cardboard into tiny squares and write one of the 26 individual letters of the alphabet on each. Places the squares facedown in a bowl and fill the bowl with water before going to bed. In the morning, the letters that have turned themselves face up indicate initials or letters, which partly or completely spell your next lover’s name.
Alternatively, place a saucer on a table and drop 21 sewing needles onto it. Very slowly, pour water from a jug into a saucer. The water will cause the needles to move. Two needles that cross indicate that you have an admirer. You have as many potential lovers as you have crossed needless!
Posted on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:40:53
Wedding Bell Omens
There are many fun and light-hearted superstitions surrounding marriage. Here’s just a few:
If three women sitting together at dinner table possess the same initial to their Christian name, one of the three women will soon marry.
The first person to walk upstairs after the bride will marry next.
A bride who makes a wish while cutting her wedding cake will see her wish come true
Placing a piece of wrapped or boxed wedding cake under your pillow is said to induce a dream of whom you will marry.
Posted on Thu 7th Jul 2011 17:23:13
He Loves Me? He Loves Me Not? Fortelling the Future With Apple Pips
The Romanies say to find out whether someone loves you, eat an apple to the core until you find a seed. Remove the seed and name it by the same name as the one you love. With a pin, inscribe the name of the one you love on a candle. Light the candle and leave it to burn for a few moments before dropping the seed into the candle flame. If the seed makes a loud crackling sound, the one you desire can hardly contain his feelings for you. Snuff the candle out.
Posted on Wed 6th Jul 2011 15:33:30
Romany Charm To Cure Baldness,
A Romany remedy said to make hair grow on a balding patch is to mix equal measures of rosemary oil, almond oil, and bay rum and to rub that into the scalp mornng and night.
To halt thinning hair, rub garlic oil into the scalp morning and night.
To strengthen hair and prevent loss, rinse with an infusion of half a teaspoon of rosemary sprigs in one cup of water.
To grow a good head of hair Romanies say:
“Of weak thinning hair you will never complain
If you cut your hair in the moon’s wax
And never in her wane.”
Posted on Thu 12th May 2011 17:50:32