I’m going to celebrate the first of October with another giveaway, this time superstition related. So it seemed fitting to have a quick look at some French superstitions – grigris – in this post, my last in September to add a little excitement to the build up!
Firstly, what brings good luck? It’s probably not too much of a surprise to learn that finding a four leafed clover, hanging a horseshoe over your door and touching wood when you make a wish fall into this category. But the next ones are decidedly wackier. Treading in dog poo with your left foot as opposed to your right, touching the red pompom on a sailor’s beret and seeing a ladybird take off are all really good things apparently. I’m not convinced about the poo one. I think that’s a myth put about by lazy dog owners who can’t be bothered to clear their dog’s doings off the footpath. They clearly don’t want to deprive the rest of us of a lucky break!
Breaking a mirror, opening an umbrella indoors, Friday the 13th and thirteen people around a table are bad omens in France, as we might have guessed. Less obviously disastrous are putting a baguette upside-down on the table, wearing new clothes on a Friday, coming across a black cat during the night (how can you tell it’s black in that case?) and – very French this one – lighting three cigarettes with the same match! So, you’ve been warned
Forty per cent of the French population admit to being superstitious. It’s said that Sarko keeps a pressed four leaf clover amongst his papers, and 66% of French people simply won’t walk under a ladder. So if you are superstitious, then you’re in good company. My own personal foible is not crossing on the stairs. My Aunt Olive was adamant about this at her house. And I always throw a pinch of salt that’s been spilt over my left shoulder with my right hand. I’ve done that for so long, it’s an instinct!
What are your grigris?