Socks, superstitions and traditions
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?
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
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.