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Five Superstitions and Where They Originate

Photo by Danel Solabarrieta/Flickr

In honor of this past Friday being “Friday the 13th,” here are five famous superstitions and where they originate from.

  1. Plucking the petals off a flower to play “she loves me, she loves me not.” This game comes from medieval France called, “to thin the leaves of a daisy.”  The English saying came around after it was printed in a 15th century songbook.
  2. Throwing a coin into a well to make a wish.  Since wells are a source of water, they symbolized fruitfulness.  So if a woman stood by a well and made a wish, which was usually for a husband and children back then, it was supposed to come true.
  3. Kissing under the mistletoe.  This is thought to have originated at ancient Greek festivals as a way to ward off evil and welcome love into people’s homes.
  4. Throwing rice at the bride and groom.  This comes from ancient Hebrew and Egyptian cultures, and is a symbol of fertility and good fortune.
  5. Carrying something old, new, borrowed, and blue at your wedding.  These are based on couple traditions.  The “old” is for keeping the couple’s existing family connections even though they are beginning a “new” family.  “Something borrowed” is an item given to the bride to symbolize love and support from friends.  “Blue” symbolizes purity, fidelity and loyalty, going back to Biblical traditions.

For the full list go to

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