Контрольная работа "General Superstitions in Britain"

General Superstitions in Britain
Good Luck
Lucky to meet a black cat. Black Cats are featured on many good luck greetings cards and
birthday cards in England.
Lucky to touch wood. We touch; knock on wood, to make something come true.
Lucky to find a clover plant with four leaves.
White heather is lucky.
A horseshoe over the door brings good luck. But the horseshoe needs to be the right way up.
The luck runs out of the horseshoe if it is upside down.
Horseshoes are generally a sign of good luck and feature on many good luck cards.
On the first day of the month it is lucky to say "white rabbits, white rabbits white rabbits,"
before uttering your first word of the day.
Catch falling leaves in Autumn and you will have good luck. Every leaf means a lucky month
next year.
Cut your hair when the moon is waxing and you will have good luck.
Putting money in the pocket of new clothes brings good luck.
Bad Luck
Unlucky to walk underneath a ladder.
Seven years bad luck to break a mirror. The superstition is supposed to have
originated in ancient times, when mirrors were considered to be tools of the
Unlucky to see one magpie, lucky to see two, etc..
Unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must throw it over your shoulder to counteract the bad luck.
Unlucky to open an umbrella in doors.
The number thirteen is unlucky. Friday the thirteenth is a very unlucky day. Friday is
considered to be an unlucky day because Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
Unlucky to put new shoes on the table.
Unlucky to pass someone on the stairs.
Food Superstitions
When finished eating a boiled egg, push the spoon through the bottom of the
empty shell to let the devil out
In Yorkshire, housewives used to believe that bread would not rise if there was a
corpse (dead body) in the vicinity, and to cut off both ends of the loaf would
make the Devil fly over the house!
Table Superstitions
If you drop a table knife expect a male visitor, if you drop a fork a female visitor.
Crossed cutlery on your plate and expect a quarrel.
Leave a white tablecloth on a table overnight and expect a death.
Animal Superstitions
Animals feature a lot in our superstitions as they do in superstitions around the world.
One ancient British superstition holds that if a child rides on a bear's back it
will be protected from whooping-cough. (Bears used to roam Britain but now
they are not seen on our shores)
In some parts of the UK meeting two or three Ravens together is
considered really bad. One very English superstition concerns the tame
Ravens at the Tower of London. It is believed if they leave then the
crown of England will be lost.
It is said to be bad luck if you see bats flying and
hear their cries. In the middle ages it was believed that witches were closely
associated with bats.
If a Sparrow enters a house it is an omen of death to one of the
people who live there. In some areas it is believed that to avoid bad luck, any
Sparrow caught must be immediately killed otherwise the person who caught it will
In some areas black Rabbits are thought to host the souls of human
beings. White Rabbits are said to be really witches and some believe that saying
'White Rabbit' on the first day of each month brings luck. A common lucky charm
is a Rabbit's foot, but not for the Rabbit.
It is thought very unlucky to have the feathers of a Peacock within the home
or handle anything made with them. This is possibly because of the eye shape
present upon these feathers i.e. the Evil-Eye associated with wickedness.
Wedding Superstitions
Bride and groom must not meet on the day of the wedding except at the altar.
The bride should never wear her complete wedding clothes before the day.
For good luck the bride should wear “something borrowed, something blue, something old and
something new”.
The husband should carry his new wife over the threshold of their home.
Questions to think about for Students
1. Which British superstitions are similar to those in your country?
2. Which are different?
3. Do you know anything about the origins of some of the superstitions in your country?
4. Can you give the definition of "superstition"?
5. Do you believe that they can influence our lives and still live on in the age of science?
1. What is lucky to say on the first day of the month?
2. Which way up must a horse-shoe be to bring good luck?
3. What object is lucky to catch in autumn?
4. What must you do if you spill salt?
5. Putting new shoes on the table brings good luck. True or False?
6. Is Tuesday 13th considered to be unlucky?
7. What will happen if the ravens leave the Tower of London?
8. White rabbits are considered to be............
9. Why is it unlucky to have the feathers of a Peacock within home?
10. Do bats bring good luck?