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This fun series, looking at unique superstitions and traditions in different countries, comes to a close with this post. That is, until I visit more countries!
I wondered if England’s traditions and those in Scotland, Ireland and the US might be very similar. However, I found that not true. There are some similarities. For the most part though, England has their own collection of superstitions and good luck practices. Or, in some cases, the good luck traditions from England are the opposite of those in other countries.
You’ll see what I mean, in the following post.
Pocket that Money
Putting money into the right hand pocket of new clothes brings good luck and fortune. The practice is thought to attract MORE money to put into that pocket.
Similar British traditions include wearing new clothes on New Year’s Day and on Easter Sunday, so that more new clothes arrive.
Cut Hair at the Right Time
This British traditions suggests that cutting hair as the moon is waxing ensures good luck. At the very least, the Farmer’s Almanac agrees that cutting hair during this time results in thicker, faster and longer hair growth.
Want to try it out? Cut or trim your hair during the first two days of a waxing (growing) new moon.
Hang a Horseshoe Over the Door
Horseshoes are considered lucky because they are made of iron, which supposedly wards off evil spirits. And the horseshoes are traditionally hung with seven nails. Seven is the luckiest number.
It’s important though, how that horseshoe is hung. Make sure to hang it so that it resembles a U, to invite good luck into the home. Hang it upside down and luck runs out of the house.
Meet a Black Cat
In the US and some other countries, encountering a black cat is considered bad luck. However, the British believe it’s lucky to meet a black cat. In fact, black cats are often featured on good luck and birthday greeting cards in England.
This tradition says it’s considered lucky to say the words, “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits” on the first day of each month, before saying any other words.
One possibility is that the word rabbit was an expletive many years ago. The ancient belief is that uttering expletives helps avoid evil. Another possibility is that rabbits are considered lucky animals.
This custom carried over to the United States. President Roosevelt apparently uttered rabbits, rabbits, rabbits on the first day of every month.
Catching falling leaves in autumn guarantees good luck for the following year. Each leaf caught equals one month of good luck. So for the best year possible, catch 12 leaves as they fall to the ground.
Knocking on Wood
In the US, and some other countries, people knock on wood to keep something from happening. For example, someone says, “I’ve never had a car accident…knock on wood.” And they then rap their knuckles against something wooden, like a table.
The British tradition is the opposite. They knock on wood to make something happen. “I intend to travel this summer…knock on wood.” And they then touch or knock on something wooden.
Four Leaf Clover
This tradition seems similar in several countries, including the US. Find a four leaf clover, good luck comes to you.
This tradition originates in Ireland. The majority of clovers have three leaves. A more rare four leaf clover brings faith, hope, love and luck to the finder.
Get a lucky four leaf clover charm to carry always, HERE.
Those gorgeous peacock feathers are NOT considered lucky in England. It’s considered unlucky to have peacock feathers inside the home or to hold anything made from the feathers.
This tradition comes from the belief that the eye shape on the feather is associated with the Evil Eye and wickedness.
In some parts of the UK, encountering two ravens together is good luck.
Two ravens bring good luck or good news. Seeing one raven brings bad luck.
In Greek mythology, ravens are associated with Apollo, the god of prophecy. Ravens are also called God’s messenger to the mortal world. Seeing one means change is coming.
According to English legend, the Kingdom of England will fall if the ravens at the Tower of London leave or die. As a result, six ravens, at least, have resided there for centuries. Obviously, not the exact same ravens.
Your Good Luck Traditions
Do you or your family practice any good luck traditions? My family has an assortment of sayings and traditions, passed down from generation to generation.
I have a fairly high percentage of English DNA. I enjoyed learning more about this country’s traditions.
You can check out the other posts in this series:
I’d love to hear about any traditions or superstitions that your family practices. You’ll find me out this autumn, catching leaves as they fall! And…I already have a lucky horseshoe, hung correctly, over my front door.
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10 Replies to “Good Luck Traditions from England”
These are fun good luck traditions! I have done some of them!
Loved reading this! Such interesting little tidbits!
I loved this!! So much fun! Catching falling leaves makes me feel like a kid again!! Great article!
I want to do that one!
What an interesting post! Back home in Puerto Rico when we are cooking we throw salt back over our shoulders for good luck. 🙂
I love that! You could do a post of Puerto Rico traditions!
Love these good luck traditions from England. My great-grandparents had a horseshoe over their doorway…their parents immigrated from England.
I got my horseshoe from my mother in law, who was 100% English. It’s over my door now.
I love these fun cultural posts! Great!