Superstitions – Grigris

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?

0 Replies to “Superstitions – Grigris”

  1. Unlucky to see only one magpie – or magenpie as we call them after Gerald Durrell in My Family and Other Animals. Roger always says Good day Mr Magpie if there’s only one to cancel out there only being the one

    1. I’d never heard of that superstition. Kind of cool! We get very few magpies here, but they were ten a penny in Ireland. You’d have been raising your ‘hat’ there all day!

  2. I actually heard the dog poo one in our local newsagent. Someone had trailed in a load of the stuff and someone else said that if it had been them they would hope to have trodden in it with the left foot. That led me to research into French superstitions too and it has become one of my most popular posts!

    1. I hadn’t come across that before I did my research. It is really very bizarre! I’m afraid I shall never be tempted to tread in dog poo for the sake of a bit of luck! Eeuuww.

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