People still tend to believe in common superstitions despite all the technological and scientific advances in today's world. Performing little rituals or honoring good or bad luck omens can give people a sense of control in their lives. Many superstitions have grown surrounding modern-day activities that tap into ancient roots of numerology, odds and evens and rhyming chants.
Modern Number Superstitions
Lucky and unlucky numbers have been determined since ancient times, and many people still abide by them, whether they want to or not. Many people avoid travel or important business on Friday the 13th, as it is believed to be unlucky. Many buildings don't have a 13th floor, and many people deliberately won't do something that adds up to 13, such as host 13 party guests, because it's a bad omen.
Other number superstitions include choosing meaningful numbers for lottery tickets, such as birthdays or anniversaries. Numbers figure strongly in chain letters or e-mails, where the recipient is encouraged to copy and send the message to 3 or 7 more people within 3 days to avoid bad luck. Numbers appearing in a certain order or sequence can also be seen as a good or bad omen, such as the dates 07/07/07 or 12/12/12.
Odds And Evens
To invite good luck or avoid bad luck, many people believe in superstitions that arrange objects or people into the appropriately balanced ratios. Modern superstitions concerning odds and evens include turning one cigarette upside down in a packet, clinking glasses with everyone at the table after a toast or pumping gas to an even dollar amount. Some people avoid riding in an elevator if they would make the number inside odd.
Traditional Superstitions Today
Many traditional superstitions are still alive and well today. While few people believe that the devil will enter the body after a sneeze, it's common to hear "God bless you" hastily offered.
Other common superstitions are not opening an umbrella in the house, knocking on wood and tossing salt over your shoulder if it spills-these are all thought to avoid bad luck. Brides still avoid the groom's eyes while in their wedding dress and most likely wear something new, old, borrowed and blue on the big day. Children chant a folk lore rhyme and avoid stepping on cracks in the sidewalk to preserve their mother's backs. Lucky clothing is thought to aid everyone, from singles going on a first date to professional athletes whose performance might be doomed without a particular item.
Most Chinese superstitions are geared toward happiness and goodness as opposed to death or bad luck.
Filipino superstitions are colorful and ingrained into the traditions of the Philippines.
Even the most intelligent and skeptical people fall under the spell of love superstitions, some of which are an essential part of wedding tradition.