Sunday, July 7, 2019

On the Road Again: Travels with Superstition.

Photo by Myself.
Packing for my holiday, even now my mind wanders to one of my favourite subjects: travel lore and superstition. The fact that I used my blogging notepad to write my check list is not helping matters. It's inspired me to write a second post on the subject and I haven't written a Top 5 post for a while, so I thought this would make a nice little post to tide you, my dearest readers, over until my Holiday Blog. Yes, even though I'm going away for a week, I still intend to post a blog, wifi permitting. Until then, bring on the lore.

Unlucky for some.
In some countries the number Thirteen is considered very unlucky. In China the unlucky number is the number Four, due to the cantonese words for Four and Death sounding very similar. In Italy it's the number Seventeen, another number linked with death as the roman numerals for Seventeen can be rearranged to spell the Italian word Vixi, which translates to "I lived." As a result you'll notice that a lot of hotels will skip these numbers when they number their rooms and some people will refuse to sit in seat with these numbers on planes. Also, as mentioned in my previous Travel Lore post, some people won't travel on these days either.

Whistle Down the Wind.
Cruses are a wonderful and luxurious way to see the world, with ships sailing everywhere from the Caribbean to Antarctica, but if you're musically inclined you might want to stick to singing in your cabins shower. Whistling on a ship is considered terrible bad luck, as the wind itself could see it as a challenge. I've only been on ferries during storms, but trust me, a boat in a storm is not a situation you want to find yourself in. Some people say that this supersticion also stems back to 1789, when whistling was used to signal the infamous mutiny on the HMS Bounty.

Tis but a scratch!
Traveling in a brand new car? One piece of travel lore is that a new vehicle is more at risk of accidents than a second hand one. Since it's new and hasn't had any yet, that just encourages them to occur. Folks who believe this one will often deliberately scratch their new motor somewhere where it won't be noticed, in an attempt to ward off bad lick; the most popular places are around the wheel arch or the inside of the steering wheel.

Just keep walking.
Forgotten something? It might be best to just forget about it. In some places, going back for something you've left behind can bring you bad luck on your journey or on your holiday, as can looking back when you're leaving. So keep those eyes facing forward and just buy whatever you need when you get to your destination.

Take a deep breath.
This is a more dangerous one, in my opinion. The superstition that if you are successful in holding your breath whilst going through a tunnel or over a county line it can bring good luck. But don't try this one at home kids, since holding your breath for too long can cause you to pass out. Not something you want to happen while you're at the wheel of a car and this superstition has already been linked to several accidents. This is one superstition I remember from when I was little and for ages I couldn't remember why, until I traced it back to a Tiny Toons special where a group of characters going on holiday hold their breath going through a tunnel because if they do so successfully then they will get a wish granted, much like blowing out the candles on a birthday cake. 
Another variation of this supersticion seems to be holding your breath as you drive past a graveyard, just in case you accidentally inhale any lost and wandering soul that might be hanging around.
Photo by Myself.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you follow any of these superstitions yourself or do you know someone who does? Maybe you have your own version of one of them? Let me know in the comment below or tag me over on Twitter. For more odd travel superstitions, don't forget to check out my first post on the subject, if you haven't already and, once again, let  me know what you think.

1 comment:

  1. I've always subscribed to the 'just keep walking' superstition. I can't remember where I first heard it, but it resonated with me and I've stuck with it since. I love reading about how different beliefs and folklore in different corners of the world. Thanks for sharing!