Throughout June/July, (as you lovely folks might have seen), we ran our hugely successful #IndependentVoices Competition to celebrate the launch of our new website.
Firstly, a BIG congratulations to Karen Nagle who won our five book bundle! We hope you enjoy reading them, Karen. Also, a huge thank you to everyone who entered; we received lots of wonderful comments about the books, which were lovely to hear. One thing we did notice was the hashtag #fingerscrossed – used for luck.
This got us thinking about any superstitions that we believed in, and so, after a quick discussion in the office, we determined that:
- Linda won’t open an umbrella indoors
- Nathan won’t cross anyone on the stairs
- Amy tries to avoid walking over a triple drain (admittedly, sometimes difficult in rush hour crowds)
- Amanda knocks on wood for luck
- Nikki won’t walk under scaffolding
Oh, and we’ve all at some point ‘crossed our fingers’ for luck.
Luckily, Philippa Waring, author of A Dictionary of Omens and Superstitions, is here to explain to us the superstitious nature of fingers…
“Superstition has attributed numerous qualities to the fingers, some of which are still in common usage in many countries in the world. For instance, a child with long fingers is said to be a musician and will always be unable to save money, but if the forefinger is as long as the second finger, or longer, then this is a sign of dishonesty. This forefinger is sometimes referred to as the ‘Poison Finger’ and should never be used for applying any medication, while the third finger of the left hand (on which the wedding ring is worn) is believed to be lucky and have healing powers when used for such a purpose. A crooked little finger is a sign of wealth. Anyone born with more than five fingers is said to be very lucky and probably a prodigy in the making. If you are forced into the position of telling someone a ‘white lie’ to avoid hurting their feelings, then cross your first and second fingers behind your back and no harm will come to either of you. And, of course, crossing the fingers has always been a way of avoiding any impending bad luck. According to a European superstition, if you pull your finger joints and they make a cracking sound then you can rest assured that somebody loves you.”
Similar conclusions can be drawn from Zolar’s Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens and Superstitions...
“To begin with, crossing the index and middle fingers as a sign of good luck or to exorcize the evil eye is certainly common. It is said the best time to make this sign is when passing by a cemetery or behind someone’s back while telling a white lie in order to protect the soul.”
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post (fingers crossed)! Do let us know whether you have any interesting superstitions in the comments below!