Well in many countries including France, Friday 13th is always approached with caution as a day when things can go wrong….
The other day in the boulangerie in Clairac, I noticed the baker promptly turn a baguette the right way up when a customer placed it down on the counter on its crusty top whilst she fished for her money…Thinking that it was because the baker was proud of the breads crusty top, I was soon proved wrong when he explained that placing any bread upside down on a table will bring hunger to the home….
There are certainly a variety of interesting superstitions in France….
I have heard that it is considered unlucky to give a friend or relative a knife as a gift as the gesture will kill the relationship and another gift that shouldnt be given is chrysanthemums as these flowers are only used for funerals and at graveyards.
There are plenty of superstitions concerning animals! Horseshoes are best hung upside down so that the good luck can be sprinkled over everyone! Black cats are only considered unlucky if they cross your path at night (well it will be unlucky if you dont see them!) and you should never cross a stream carrying a cat! If a lady is pregnant and would love her baby to be a girl, she should stare into the eyes of an owl (could be tricky!) and the one I love best…..stepping on dog mess with your left foot is considered lucky and this must have been devised because French streets are often very messy as dog owners dont often clean up after their pooch!
Clothing is a popular topic too and for good luck it is said that new clothes should never be worn on a Friday! Wives ironing their husbands underpants should never wear a belt when they do so as their husband could have kidney problems if they do.
There are superstitions linked to the Bible too….salt should never be spilt on the table during a meal as Judas is said to have done this and if you are having a dinner party, never have 13 guests around the table as this is very unlucky and is again linked to Judas and the Last Supper.
A lovely French superstition to end on is that when you are moving to a new house…the table must be the first piece of furniture placed in your new abode…to ensure you and yours happy days under your new roof!