Throw salt over your shoulder, it’s Friday the 13th!

Image courtesy of WikiCommons

By Janelle Yahne
Library Circulation Associate

According to, superstition means:

  • A belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge, in or of the ominous significance of a particular thing, circumstance, occurrence, proceeding, or the like.
  • A system or collection of such beliefs.
  • A custom or act based on such a belief.
  • Irrational fear of what is unknown or mysterious, especially in connection with religion.
  • Any blindly accepted belief or notion.

Superstitions have been around for as long as there have been unexplained events. While tempting fate by discussing your good fortune, you knock on wood. When you wish for good luck for yourself or someone else, you either cross your fingers or tell the person to break a leg. Expect to receive 7 years of bad luck when breaking a mirror. The list goes on. The basis of Friday the 13th being a day of bad luck is regularly debated, though many believe it has a religious beginning. For more in-depth readings on superstitions, here is a list of titles available in our library, but today I am going to discuss a couple sports related favorites.

Sports players are full of superstition. Now that the NHL is in beginning Stanley Cup playoffs, many hockey players grow a “playoff beard” to bring luck onto the team. As I write this post, Pierre LeBrun of ESPN posted this gem about Stanley Cup traditions and the beards are there along with Detroit Red Wing Octopus. To learn more about hockey, check out these titles.

Since baseball is now in full swing, I have to mention the long list of superstitious behavior. Stepping on a baseline when running on or off the field will bring bad luck, but stepping on a base will bring good luck. When a pitcher is in the process of pitching a no-hitter or perfect game will not bring it up so as not to jinx it. We have a few books on baseball available at the library if you want to get set for your summer league.

What are your favorite superstitions?


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