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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September


FrankFrank ModeratorPosts: 6,648 mod
edited March 2016 in Myths and Legends
This is my 13th ‘New Discussion’. I hardly dared to post it ;). Will it bring me bad luck? Somehow the number 13 is considered by many people to bring bad luck. Especially Friday 13th should not be a fortunate date. Yet this is not supported by statistics. The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics found out that fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays. Could this be because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home, so there are less cars on the road on Friday 13th?

Many people are superstitious in some way. How about you? Do you dare to walk under ladders? And what if a black cat crosses your path? Do you first blow in your hands before you cast a dice? Do you choose special lucky numbers when you play in a lottery? Etcetera. Are many people superstitious in the country where you live? What do they believe in? Let’s talk a bit about superstitions.
Post edited by Teach on


  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Touch wood, nothing bad will happen to me if I go into room 13 in my block of guestrooms. The block of flats where I was staying till last week had thirteen floors.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    Touching wood?! Ha ha! That's a good one @mheredge! So you are superstitious after all. Do you have more examples? BTW Did you know that many hotels don't have a room 13 for this reason?
  • [Ex Member][Ex Member] Posts: 0 ✭✭✭✭
    A woman (men are not welcome as well) with empty bucket is even worse than a black cat. On the other hand a person with a full bucket may bring you luck. Of course, superstition is no more than chewing gum for the brain. Psychotherapy!
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    I always thought that the topics to be superstitious about weren’t cultural specific. But apparently it differs per country where people are superstitious about. I never heard of the superstition about the empty buckets in our country @Bobmendez so I was curious what it meant and if there were other examples. When I looked for it I found a website with Russian examples of superstition.

    I found: Don’t shake hands before you passed the threshold, because otherwise you don’t get in your house any more. Don’t point at parts of your own body when you talk about others’ diseases, because you could become ill yourself. Don’t leave empty bottles on the table, because then you’ll never again sit around the table with your friends and don’t whistle outside because then your money will blow away. And indeed: Don’t approach a woman with an empty bucket. Do you recognise these examples Sergey? They were completely new to me.

    I knew some other superstitions, but I don’t know whether they are culture specific or not. If you find a four-leaved-clover, you will get luck. If you spoil salt, there will be quarrels in your house. However if you spoil sugar, this means you will receive visitors. Shards bring luck, but if you break a mirror this will give you bad luck for seven years. Umbrellas may not be opened inside because that also would bring bad luck, etcetera.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    The hotel where I am right now has a room 13 @lichaamstaal‌, as being a Buddhist establishment, nobody would think twice about this number being unlucky.

    Going under a ladder is supposed to be bad luck. I always avoid going under a ladder, especially if there's someone up it, but this to me is pure common sense!
  • aryarchiaryarchi Posts: 864 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't believe it at all! If it was in this way, there will be no discipline in the world anymore. this is also what I've mentioned in my new discussion(Modernity and tradition)
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I think some superstitious beliefs come from common sense @aryarchi, like not walking under ladders.
  • aryarchiaryarchi Posts: 864 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge It's the first time I hear not walking under ladders.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    f I can't avoid walking under a ladder (or scaffolding), I always look up @aryarchi, to see what might fall on my head!
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    edited February 2015
    Did you realise it's Friday 13th today? Did it bring you any bad luck until now?


    Did you realise it's Friday 13th today? Has it brought you any bad luck so far?
    Post edited by Teach on
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    As usual I was fairly oblivious of what date it was yesterday @lichaamstaal. But I never think there's anything unlucky about the number 13 in any case.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    I don't think there's anything unlucky about that number either mheredge. But many people don't take that knowledge for granted. For that reason in many Hotels they just skipped the room number 13. The room numbers count from 12 on to 14.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    The block of flats I'm staying in has thirteen floors. I wonder if anyone would have built a block of apartments with that number of floors in Europe @lichaamstaal. In Asia, I don't think anyone has any hang ups about using 13 for room and seat number.

    What an interesting legacy poor old Judas left behind in his treachery.
  • TeachTeach Your Teacher HomePosts: 10,483 mod
    edited February 2015
    There is an older legend @mheredge.

    Triskaidekaphobia also may be related to Norse mythology, which tells how the god Odin invited eleven of his closest friends to a dinner party at his home in Valhalla, only to have his party crashed by Loki, the god of chaos; making a total of 13 people. The legend further tells how Balder, one of the most beloved gods, tried to throw Loki out of the dinner party, and Loki arranged for Balder's death.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm not superstitious, but I might well become.
    When on the last night of the year some people I met, wished me: " Happy new year !! " , well, I'd have preferred if they hadn't told it.
    The last new year's day, I went out in the evening only to find my motor scooter wrecked.
    Maybe one of those people who wished me so, was a mechanic.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Aw @filauzio, what a rotten start to the year. Maybe it was down to some drunk New Year's Eve vandals. These things can happen any time, but I suppose the have a greater chance of happening when everyone is making too merry.

    Number 4 is an unlucky number for the Chinese because it sounds similar to the word "death." In East Asia, some buildings do not have a 4th floor and in Hong Kong, some high-rise residential buildings omit all floor numbers with "4", (4, 14, 24, 34 and all 40–49 floors). Five is also unlucky as it's associated with "not' and six has a similar pronunciation to a word that means to drop, fall, or decline.

  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    In your picture I miss the numbers with 4 in it and I miss 13 after all. It's rather confusing when you take the stairs and count the floors whilst climbing up.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    It was from a building in Shanghai @lichaamstaal. I guess they were hedging their bets!
  • BubblyBubbly Posts: 29,890 ✭✭✭✭
    May be I sound superstitious but I believe in Fang Sui these days!:)
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 2015
    I'm not sure how much I believe in feng shui having special power @bubbli, but as a philosophical system of harmonizing everything with the surrounding environment, I think it makes some sense. Modern reactions to feng shui are mixed as some principles of feng shui seem quite rational. But there are also folk remedies and superstitions that have been incorporated that I'm not so sure about.
  • BubblyBubbly Posts: 29,890 ✭✭✭✭
    @mheredge It might seems funny but I have changed the direction of my bed from north to south and believe me I feel more calm and sleep soundly!:)
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    There are Feng Shui advises that sound quite logical @bubbli @mheredge. For example they say you should place your desk in a way you could face the door when you're working. That's a quite logical advise. If you sit with you back towards the entrance, subconsciously this might feel rather uncomfortable. I think we have an innate drive for safety. In principle anyone or anything could attack us from behind. This doesn't sound logical to happen in modern times, but I think that's how we are wired.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    I think there's a lot to things like this @bubbli, even if I haven't studied it. I know when I re-arrange furniture in my room, there are often things that improve how you feel.

    @Frank I prefer sitting at a desk with my back to the wall, so no one can sneak up behind me and look over my shoulder at what I'm doing!

  • BubblyBubbly Posts: 29,890 ✭✭✭✭
    I also like change after sometime in my room. I change the direction and location of my bed. I change the place of my books rack and also chairs. It feels different and rather refreshing.
  • FrankFrank Moderator Posts: 6,648 mod
    Then you also follow the rules of Feng Shui @mheredge, even without realising it.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 44,856 ✭✭✭✭
    Maybe. It is supposed to be logical @Frank. Maybe I'm more logical than I thought!
  • BubblyBubbly Posts: 29,890 ✭✭✭✭
    Frank can you share with us the rules of Feng shui.:)
  • BubblyBubbly Posts: 29,890 ✭✭✭✭
    @Frank thanks for you time. So, our discussion about Feng Shui is no where. :) We have to change our assumptions about it.
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