Superstitions.... ;)

Discussion in 'The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)' started by nicko, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Well after reading all the comments on the Greek superstition of the evil eye I was reminded by the many superstitions I grew up with in my family (Greek). I will say I have never believed in a one of them, but have found them to be rather humorous. I thought it would funny to get a list of superstitions going that we have grown up with.

    First let me start us off with a list of the more famous superstitions of my heritage.

    A few famous Greek superstitions:


    Spitting
    It is customary for Greeks to spit to ward off evil. If a Greek hears bad news they may spit on themselves three times to ward of the possibility of anything bad happening to themselves. The person does not actually spit on themselves what they say is "Ptew, Ptew, Ptew" with very little spit actually being thrown down onto their chest. They may even raise their shirt and spit between their clothes towards their chest.
    Greek Fishermen may spit into their nets so that they will ward off any evil allowing them to get a good catch.
    If someone compliments a Greek to avoid the Evil Eye they may spit onto themselves, and may say to the person "Ptew, Ptew mi me matiasis", which basically says, "I'm spitting on myself so that you do not cause the Evil Eye to come upon me." Spitting is believed to be very effective against The Evil Eye.


    Crows
    In Greek superstition Crows are seen as a bad omen, often foretelling death.
    Upon seeing Crows cawing, it is believed that the Crows are announcing the death of an individual. Greeks believing in this superstition will often say to the birds, "Go on your way, and bring me good news."
    They're cawing is what is most feared, as it is seen as an announcement of a death that is soon to be heard! A death of an individual that is likely to be close.

    Sneezing
    In Greek superstition if you sneeze it is believed that somebody is talking about you. Since you do not know who the person is you may try to figure out by saying out peoples names. If you say a name and you stop sneezing it is thought that that is the person who is talking about you.

    The Use of Salt
    In Greek superstition salt is considered to have great powers as a purifying force. In such, it can be used to ward off demons and evil spirits by throwing it over your left shoulder. Similarly a new house can be purified by sprinkling it with salt to remove any demons or lurking evil spirits.
    Salt can also be used to remove an unwanted guest, or a guest that has overstayed their welcome from your house. To remove an unwanted guest, salt can either be sprinkled on the chair of the unwanted guest, or thrown behind them. It is said that if the guest sees you throw the salt the power of the salt is weakened, and is not as effective. Watch out if they see you!

    Itchy Hand
    In Greek superstition if you have an itchy hand it foretells that you are either going to receive or give money.
    If you're right hand is itchy it indicates that you will get money. If you're left hand is itchy it indicates that you will give money. If both hands are itchy then you will both give and receive money.

    Priests
    In regards to respect of priests, it is customary for Greeks upon seeing one to go up to them and kiss their hands or even the cloth that they wear. Priests were as highly respected in ancient times as they are today.
    However, just as in ancient times as today it was considered a bad omen to see a priest walking in the street. Upon seeing one Greeks may spit three times into their shirt. It was also considered bad luck to see a priest in the morning if someone had a handkerchief they may tie it until the day ended. In this manner any bad luck would be tied until a time when the chance of something happening would not be as likely.
     
  2. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    Oh Nooooo

    I won't buy it again and start my stories....

    I will wait for the others first!!

    :bounce:

    But I cannot control myself. 5 to 6 of the superstitions above are mentioned in Ancient Greek Tragedies , especially the ones of Sophocles ;)
     
  3. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Athenaus,

    Please go ahead. The funny thing is I have not posted all of the Greek superstitions that there are...
     
  4. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    :eek:

    You pass me the mike for karaoke again... :lol:

    Aren't you afraid of what they are going to think about us, the Greeks ?

    :)
     
  5. kimmie

    kimmie

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    BIRTH
    Monday's child is fair of face;
    Tuesday's child is full of grace;
    Wednesday's child is full of woe;
    Thursday's child has far to go;
    Friday's child is loving and giving;
    Saturday's child works hard for a living.
    But the child that is born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise, good and gay.

    ------------

    To protect yourself from witches, wear a blue bead.

    Touch blue
    And your wish
    Will come true

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    Before slicing a new loaf of bread, make the sign of the cross on it.

    A loaf of bread should never be turned upside down after a slice has been cut from it.

    ------------

    Do not lean a broom against a bed. The evil spirits in the broom will cast a spell on the bed.

    Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.

    To prevent an unwelcome guest from returning, sweep out the room they stayed in immediately after they leave.

    -----------

    If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it.

    Keep cats away from babies because they "suck the breath" of the child.

    -----------

    Evil spirits can't harm you when you stand inside a circle.

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    It's bad luck to pick up a coin if it's tails side up. Good luck comes if it's heads up.

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    COUNTING CROWS
    One's bad,
    Two's luck,
    Three's health,
    Four's wealth,
    Five's sickness,
    Six is death.

    ----------

    To cure a sty, stand at a crossroads and recite
    Sty, sty, leave my eye
    Take the next one coming by.

    ----------

    To drop a fork means a man is coming to visit.

    A knife as a gift from a lover means that the love will soon end.

    If a friend gives you a knife, you should give him a coin, or your friendship will soon be broken.

    Knife falls, gentleman calls;
    Fork falls, lady calls;
    Spoon falls, baby calls.

    ------------

    It is bad luck to walk under a ladder.

    ------------

    If a young girl catches a ladybug and then releases it, the direction in which it flies away will be the direction from which her future husband will come.

    It is bad luck to kill a ladybug.

    Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home.
    Your house is on fire,
    Your children all roam.

    -------------

    It's bad luck to let milk boil over.

    -------------

    To break a mirror means 7 years bad luck.

    ------------

    SALT AND PEPPER

    If you spill pepper you will have a serious argument with your best friend.

    Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil waiting there.

    Put salt on the doorstep of a new house and no evil can enter.

    Salty soup is a sign that the cook is in love.

    ------------

    If you sneeze on a Monday, you sneeze for danger;
    Sneeze on a Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
    Sneeze on a Wednesday, sneeze for a letter;
    Sneeze on a Thursday, something better;
    Sneeze on a Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
    Sneeze on a Saturday, see your sweetheart tomorrow.
    Sneeze on a Sunday, and the devil will have domination over you all week.

    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  6. isa

    isa

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    Never, never, put a loaf of bread upside down.


    Doing so will bring you bad luck.
     
  7. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    I must say that I am particularly fond of the Greek spitting superstition :D. I am having images of Athenaus spitting as she walks through the streets of Greece.

    :rolleyes: :bounce:
     
  8. zorba the greek

    zorba the greek

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    Ha ha ha :lol:

    Your visions are real Nicko!

    The most popular of Greek superstitions is the Evil Eye by far...
    Then it's the black cat and then the priest
    Another popular one is not to walk under the ladder

    Crazy stories of a crazy nation :)
     
  9. coolj

    coolj

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    If your left hand is itchy your going to get money, if your right hand is itchy your going to meet a stranger.

    never put a hat on a bed or dinner table

    don't cut your finger nails on sunday

    when you and another person say the exact same thing simultaneously, you and the other person lock pinky fingers and make a wish, same goes for a load of hay.

    if a picture falls off the wall, someone will die.

    My dad however, when we are about to get any news about someone in the family, he gets a burning ear. I don't know if that's superstitous, but it's interesting.
     
  10. pastachef

    pastachef

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    Has anyone heard about the legend of the kitchen witch? These stories may have originated in Greece, but I sure grew up with them.
     
  11. kimmie

    kimmie

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    Our superstition of “knocking on wood” was initiated to insure that no spirits were residing within the tree before it was cut down.

    :rolleyes:
     
  12. pastachef

    pastachef

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    That's funny, Kimmie.:D My Irish grandmother used to hang a little witch riding a broom in her kitchen,as did my mother. They said it kept them from burning their food.
     
  13. nancya

    nancya

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    Who wants to walk under a ladder anyway?

    I was all set to retire in Greece someday...now I'm worried about everyone spitting at me. Scary stuff.

    :D
     
  14. athenaeus

    athenaeus

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    The supersition of the witch is definetely not Greek.
    I wouldn't accept a rival in my kitchen :D

    I knock on the wood a lot Kimmie.

    Deep in me I believe that if you think of something bad you attrack it so to be sure I knock on the wood.

    Hey Nancy do not hear to them. I do not walk in the streets spitting because I do belive that people have more serious things to do than looking at me and giving me the evil eye ;)
     
  15. olive branch

    olive branch

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    Could the kitchen witch be a cousin to the Asian kitchen gods?

    Love ~ Debbie
     
  16. rachel

    rachel

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    Ah Bond, smooth suave and sophisticated you may be, but in the end you are just another innocent abroad. Her Majesty makes them so well.
     
  17. rachel

    rachel

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    In Britain and in other anglo-based cultures Friday 13th is seen as a bad luck day. This has been explained to me as the fact that there were 13 at the Last Supper and Christ died on a Friday.
    However in Spain and in Italy the bad luck day is Tuesday 13. there's a saying in Spanish - Tuesday 13th, don't get married or set sail. Does anyone know why this is?
     
  18. kimmie

    kimmie

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    I just remembered that you're not supposed to open an umbrella indoors... :eek:
     
  19. pastachef

    pastachef

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    I guess with no snow for christmas this year I should spread sugar on my walkway. Not only will the family get along, but it will look like snow. :D