Le Superstizioni Italiane

With the arrival of fall comes many things. The air is crisper, the leaves are crunchier and the superstitions are numerous. Superstitions come in a variety, from the mundane to the extreme. In October, the belief in these superstitions becomes more intense, from a fun little joke to a paranoia of bad luck and everything in between.

Italians have many interesting superstitions. For example, in Italy, the number 17 is an unlucky number. Why? The number 17 looks like a hanging man which makes it bad luck. It is also unlucky to sit down at a table with 12 other people because it is seen as a reflection of The Last Supper. The 13th person will lead to a betrayal like the one Judas bestowed on Jesus. However, 13 is a lucky number in the Italian culture in other respects. A major superstition Italians hold is that of Malocchio or the evil eye. The evil eye is thought to bring misfortune to those who are on the receiving end of it. It is believed to harm nursing mothers and their babies, milking animals and men’s sperm. The way to combat the evil eye is to create or wear the cornicello, little horn. Il cornicello is a symbol of fertility and vitality, those things which are affected by the evil eye. Italy and the U.S. share a few of the same superstitions such as throwing salt over your shoulder and avoiding walking under ladders. Both the U.S. and Italy share the belief of the black cat. Crossing the path of a black cat is considered unlucky as they represent bad omens.

Superstitions happen all around the world. Some are taken very seriously while others are just a lark. Some countries have common superstitions like Italy and America. Others do not. It just so happens that in October, in America, superstitions are taken more seriously by both Americans and Italian Americans. They are definitely fun to participate in. Just remember, while you are sweeping out the spirits, do not sweep over a single person's feet. They won't marry!