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Friday, 17 April 2009

Socks, superstitions and traditions

Hi everyone,

Thank you all so much for the comments. I don't know about you, but I found it fascinating to learn about all the different superstitions from around the world. It got me thinking about what the difference is between a superstition, habit and tradition. I guess a superstition is something you do to bring good luck or ward off bad luck. A superstitious belief can be personal or held by many other people in your village, city or country. A habit is something you do because you've always done it that way. It's personal: something you do. The book I read (the one which said that most people put their left sock on first) meant this was a habit, rather than a superstition. Nothing bad will happen to you if you put on your right sock first (which is just as well, as most of you put on your right sock first, it seems!) Like Happyma, I put my left sock on first because it's easier to balance on my right leg than my left. I'm right handed: maybe that makes a difference!

I guess all superstitions and traditions have to start somewhere. We tend to think that superstitions are old. I'm not sure. I've been trying to think of superstitions that involve computers or cars, but I can't! Do you think there are any new superstitions?

Traditions, on the other hand, can start at any time. As we've just celebrated Easter, I thought I'd quickly tell you about a new tradition we have in our church. I'm a Methodist: that's a protestant denomination: it's a breakaway church from the main Church of England. Instead of having a vicar or a priest, we have a minister who leads our church. The minister can either be a man or a woman. Every 5 years or so, the minister moves to another church, so when a new minister arrives, they bring new ways of doing things. Our current minister has started several new traditions in our church: this is my favourite:

At Christmas we have a real Christmas tree (as opposed to an artificial tree). It's a big tree, as you can see!

It stands in our church from mid December to 6 January, when we take it down. The branches are then chopped off and the trunk is stored in the garden until Easter. Just before Good Friday, the trunk is cut in to two pieces and made in to a cross, which is then taken back into the church.

On Easter Sunday morning, during the service, some of the children come in with baskets of flowers. Everyone in the congregation is invited to come up, take one of the flowers and put it on the cross

The cross is transformed from a bare, dead tree in to something beautiful, symbolising that from death comes new life. It also shows a link between the birth of Jesus at Christmas and His death and resurrection at Easter.

Finally, after the service, the cross is carried outside

and put up facing the street, so that everyone going by can see it

Don't you think that's a lovely tradition?

Do you have any traditions? Maybe a family tradition that is unique to your family? Or maybe a tradition from your school?

Take care


DZungTran: What happens if you go back home, come out again and see another lady: do you have to go back home again?

Anita: Hmmmm. Not sure on your brother-in-law's logic ;-). I also believe that bad luck comes in threes! Thank you for your Easter wishes to us all.

Anita and Vladimir: isn't it interesting that you both have similar superstitions: Anita has to sit down if she comes back to the house and Vladmir has to look in the mirror.

Daria: Glad you liked the socks. As you can see, I've worn them so much, I have a problem. I've just washed them one more time and am now going to get the Rangers to turn them in to puppets!

Olya: Someone once gave me a horseshoe (made of glass) for the office and we had a long discussion about which way it should hang. He thought, like you, that the ends should be up to stop the luck running out. But someone else said should point downwards so that the Devil couldn't sit in it! Oh dear.

ward off: to protect against
congregation: the group of people who attend a church service


It's a wonderful tradition, really!I will propose it in my church!

Hi Carrie! Yes. Itīs a lovely tradition indeed! My family used to make a bonfire in June 13th in order to celebrate St. Antony. We sat together around the fire eating popcorn and drinking hot wine while we listening attentively my uncleīs extraordinary tales about ghosts. Unfortunately, we donīt get together at June 13th anymore... Best wishes, Ana Paula.

Hi Carrie! Some people give a toast when they buy a new car over here. They usually have a drink with their workmates. Mind you, it always depends on the person and his/her work enviroment. It is no longer a widespread custom though. I think your minister is like a priest for the people who are Roman Catholic. A priest can run a parish for more than five years. Our local parish organises a procession on Good Friday. As for the traditions, me and my father are the only members of the family who pick up the phone on New Year's Day. A woman should not answer the phone on this day cause according to someone it is like starting the year on the wrong foot. Another tradition is celebrating Xmas's Day together. We do not accept invitations from our relatives. Lastly, on Liberation's Day(25/4) and on May Day (5/1) we display our national flag on our balcony. With this gesture we want to honour all the people who fought the Resistance during the Second World War and all the work accident victims. Have a great week to you all!!

Hi Carrie! The cross is lovely dressed in all shinning gelb flowers, it may bring optimistic sunny feeling around. It is refreshing tradition invented in a church and I like to see there are many people to participate. The computer superstitions arenīt yet common but prejudice are and I am not sure if they along with cell phones are more helpful in boading our communication for the service shows drastically each second of such conversation is to be payed. /Ana Paula, I hope your mum get well!!/ I am not much into any kind of mass traditions, it is based on growing up in one type of establishment which was replaced by another one...Have a nice week everybody!

Wauo.. the Minister is quite a guy! And the person who wrote this paragraph is awesome as well. Incidentally,the cross is like a scarecrow(straw man). Best wishes,James.

Hello again Carrie! Could you let me give a reply to Marianna, please? Marianna, my mum is quite well now. Thanks for your kind wishes :-). Thank you Carrie, Ana Paula.

Hello,Carrie!We have a superstition in almost every activity we do over here in Africa.But i am so surprised to hear that there are still some of them in the developed country.I have a question for you Carrie.Is not relision its self, any relision, a collective superstition?I hope not.Are not they both depend on what you hear from the society?

The Easter tradition which you follow in your church is very symbolical and deep. I have never thought of the connection between cross and Christmas tree)) May I ask you one question? How do feel about female ministers?Do you feel any difference between male and female ministery in church?

Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.

April 2009

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