It’s Friday the 13th (of September). A day in the calendar that many people see as an unlucky day. We wanted to explore why this day was classed as unlucky and share with you, a few money superstitions that we’ve used once or twice in life.
Did you know that the number 13 is classed as unlucky in western culture due to the bad luck given by Judas in the Bible, to Jesus? He was thought to be the 13th guest to be at the Last Supper and since he betrayed Jesus, he’s not a favourite disciple in the 21st Century.
For many years, Friday is considered the unluckiest day of the week. In the UK, Fridays were once known as the Hangman’s Day, where people who had been condemned to death would be…well..hanged (not sit around and play Hangman). We’re glad this Friday has been removed from the calendar, and has now made this day a favourite in the weekly calendar with local islanders and our Smart Money Experts.
With a combination of Friday being an unlucky day and the number 13 being related to Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, we can see why it is a superstitious day. There’s even a phobia for people who actually fear this calendar day – paraskevidekatriaphobia. The word seems more scarier than the day itself!
Now that you’ve got a bit of history behind Friday 13th, let’s crack on with the money superstitions.
Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you’ll have good luck.
Most of us have done this, when we’ve seen a shiny penny on the pavement and picked it up, in hope for good fortune in the future.
Origin: In the Pagan era, metal was thought to protect you from evil spirits. Finding a piece of metal across your path, would be picked up in hope to protect you from evil spirits.
A purse on the floor is money out the door.
Origin: This is translated from an ancient Chinese proverb. In many Asian cultures, the ground symbolises lowliness, so to put your purse on the floor, shows a lack of respect for your money.
Toss a coin in a fountain and your wish will come true.
Whether you’ve participated in this superstition in the Liberation Square Fountain or the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome, we’ve all done it at some point and wished for something outrageously positive to happen.
Origin: Similar to the metal protecting you from evil spirits, people used to believe metal would gain the favour of Gods. They would toss bits of metal into wells, fountains or ponds in hope that the Gods would bless their water and provide hydration for themselves or their crops. Apparently, there is an ancient well near Hadrian’s Wall containing nearly 13,500 coins dating back to 30BCE – that’s how serious people took this superstition!
You need coins to reach the afterlife.
Origin: People used to bury the dead with coins and precious materials, and some even put money/coins in the mouths of the dead. They believed the dead would give their coins as payment to Charon, a boatman who ferried the dead to the afterlife. This Charon guy sounds pretty scary if you ask us!
Bird droppings on your head means you’re headed for wealth.
Don’t deny it. We’ve all been ‘pooped’ on at some point. Either by a confused-looking pigeon or a feisty seagull at the beach. And we’ve all reassured ourselves or our faeces-covered friends that it brings good luck. This superstition doesn’t have an origin as such. It’s more of a cross-cultural connection between humans that has been put in place to make you feel better about the situation.
A spider in your pocket will make you rich.
We couldn’t think of anything more frightening than putting our hand into a coat pocket and having an 8-legged creature tickle your fingertips!
Origin: Spiders are a recurring symbol of wealth in many cultures around the world due to them weaving their own webs to catch their prey and creating their own prosperity. Some believe if i spider crawls into your pocket, you’re blessed with everlasting wealth, and others urge you to catch a spider whilst it’s weaving a web (a bit cruel!) and put it into your pocket to bring you riches. Maybe don’t try this one at home. You could gain a family of spiders living in your pockets that won’t make you popular at parties.
Talking about money is bad luck.
In some parts of the world, talking about money is a BIG taboo. So much so, that its considered bad luck. However, due to the current economic climate of islanders and our friends who live across the water in the UK, we should be encouraging others, especially our partners, to talk about their finances and offer support.