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British Superstitions 7 класс Раздел 1. Секция 7. «Do you have any Superstitions?» Автор Еремеева А.А.
Mirrows Be careful when you’re handling a mirror in the UK – superstition suggests you'll get seven years of bad luck if you break one! Mirrors were once believed to be windows into other worlds – often worlds where things were the wrong way around. People may also have been frightened that a person’s reflection shatters when a mirror is broken. One theory is that they thought breaking a mirror was like breaking your soul. Some people also believe that mirrors should be covered up during births and funerals, for fear the person’s soul might escape through them to another realm.
Numbers Lucky and unlucky numbers are common in many countries and cultures – and the UK is no exception. Seven is usually seen as the luckiest number, with three and eight following close behind. Avoid the number 13 though – especially the date Friday 13th. This goes back to the Christian belief that the 13th person at the Last Supper with Jesus was Judas, who betrayed him and led him to be crucified, and ‘unlucky Friday’ was the day Jesus died. Funnily enough, though, in a recent survey asking UK people to name their lucky number, 13 was the second most popular choice. Maybe some people just like to tempt fate…
Weddings Invitations, seating plans, worrying about whether the bride will turn up on time – you might have thought weddings were complicated enough already! According to superstition, brides should wear ‘something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue’ as part of their outfit.
And after that, every aspect of the wedding is packed with potential luck – good and bad – from the colour of the dress (one verse goes: ‘Married in white, you have chosen right; married in black, you’ll wish yourself back’), to the day of the wedding (‘Monday for health, Tuesday for wealth, Wednesday’s the best of all…’), to the things you see on the way to the ceremony (for brides, lambs are lucky but pigs are unlucky; for grooms, policemen and clergymen are lucky).
Black Cats Confusingly, black cats can be both lucky and unlucky in the UK, depending on who you ask. Some people say it’s a sign that good things are to come if a black cat crosses your path… while for others, it’s a terrible warning. Maybe it’s just a question of how much you like cats?
Rabbits Rabbits, unlike cats, are definitely lucky. Think of the Easter bunny, who brings chocolate eggs to children on Easter Sunday. Keeping a ‘lucky rabbit’s foot’ (usually not made of real rabbit nowadays!) is also considered lucky. One children’s clapping poem goes ‘bunny bunny bunny bunny…’ – a throwback to the days when repeating the word ‘rabbit’ was supposed to bring good luck, especially at the start of the month. Saying the words ‘white rabbit’ are also supposed to bring good luck. Unless you’re six years old, however, you might want to avoid endlessly repeating ‘bunny bunny white rabbit’. People might think you’ve crossed the line from superstitious to just plain silly!
Crossing Fingers Crossing your fingers is a lucky sign, and saying ‘Fingers crossed’ is the same as saying ‘Let’s hope that happens!’ or wishing someone luck. It’s a little like people in other countries say ‘hold thumbs’ or ‘knock on wood’. It’s a near-universal sign of wishing for something, but there are many theories about its origin. One is that when Christianity was illegal, crossing fingers was a secret way for Christians to recognize each other. Another is that during the Hundred Years’ War, an archer would cross his fingers to pray for luck, before drawing back his longbow with those same fingers. Yet another, even older, theory is that crossed fingers were used as a gesture to ward off witches and other evil spirits.
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