By: Madeleine White

Knock on wood because the day of luck, or perhaps the day of bad luck is coming up on March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day!  Either way, did you know that the phrase, “knock on wood”, comes from a theory of luck? It’s called superstition.  According to google definitions superstition is an excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings.  Some common superstitions are an apple a day keeps the doctor away, the bad luck that Friday the thirteenth brings, or that walking underneath a ladder brings bad luck. Superstitions are not proven and it is up to you to decide whether or not to believe them. 

Mrs. Wagstaff, an English teacher here at PHS, has traveled the world and lived in many different countries teaching English.  We asked her about some different superstitions that are in the different countries and we got quite the results.  Some superstitions in Ukraine are that you have bad luck if you wash your head while you are sick, or if a woman sits on the corner of a table then she will never get married, along with if a woman sits on the ground then her ovaries will freeze.  In Cambodia they believe that shaking a bottle of water and then drinking it will give you a bellyache.  In China, if you stick your chopsticks straight up and down in your bowl that is a sign of the devil and that bad is to come. 

Mrs. Wagstaff has so many neat superstitions to talk about with all of her traveling experience but by far the coolest one is that in Ukraine every house has a mirror by the front door.  This is because if you forget something in your house, you are supposed to walk back inside and look in the mirror and then get the forgotten item.  If you don’t do this you are said to lose a piece of yourself.  If you go into Mrs. Wagstaffs’ room you will see a square mirror right by her door courtesy of this superstition.

Always make sure to put your left shoe on first, knock on wood, and eat an apple a day to keep the bad luck away PHS.