Are you comfortable after breaking a mirror or seeing a black cat on the street on Friday the 13th? Well, all cultures have superstitions of their own, while some of them are shared by all humankind; but where do these superstitions come from and where did they first come into being? Every week, in this corner, as Daily Sabah, we will delve into the roots of these superstitions and look into the suggestions about where they came from.
This week, we will start with the superstition that surrounds "walking under a ladder," which is thought to be bad luck in almost all cultures.
Despite being dangerous for many obvious reasons, most believe that this superstition is based on ancient Egyptians' belief that a triangle is a holy shape. A ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle and Egyptians regarded this shape as sacred, as can be seen, for example, in the pyramids. To them, triangles represented the trinity of the gods and if one passes under it he or she might see a god or goddess climbing up or down, which might anger them very much.
Christians, on the other hand, believe that the number three is holy because of the Holy Trinity as well as the triangle shape. If one walks under a ladder that leans on a wall it means that he/she breaks the Holy Trinity which is seen as a crime and luring the devil into his or her life.
However, do not be alarmed if you have to pass under a ladder. According to Richard Webster, author of the book "The Encyclopedia of Superstitions," there are a few things that you can do to break the curse or bad luck if you believe in these things. You can;
l Make a wish while you're walking under the ladder.
l Walk backwards under the ladder again.
Say "bread and butter" as you walk under the ladder.
Cross your fingers and keep them crossed until you see a dog.
Well, there is really no clue as to whether these remedies work if there is a case of breaking the Holy Trinity or angering the gods, but you should probably avoid walking under a ladder due to the safety hazards alone if you care for your own well-being.