It’s a shame National Defy Superstition Day doesn’t fall on a Friday this year. The annual day, celebrated on September 13, encourages people to use their rational minds to overrule superstitions. It’s a day for stepping on cracks, walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, opening umbrellas indoors and seeking out black cats.
At Old World Stoneworks, we’re not especially superstitious. But National Defy Superstition Day makes us want to examine the intriguing superstitions related to fire. Here are a few from various places and eras, in which fire plays a malevolent or heroic role.
- Dreaming of fire is bad luck, or portends sickness or an argument.
- Dream of flame out of season, you will be angry without a reason.
- In Japan, adults tell children that if they play with fire, they’ll wet the bed.
- In Pennsylvania, during the Revolutionary War, people believed that if a cat sat with its back to a fire it meant a long, hard winter. In other places, a cat sitting with its back to a fire predicted a storm.
- There are many superstitions about throwing things into fire. Throwing spilt salt into a fire can prevent tears of sadness. In Japan, some people believed throwing persimmon stones into a fire could cause them to contract leprosy.
- Some superstitions have to do with fireplaces. A fire roaring up a chimney may predict an argument or storm. Sparks on the back of the chimney indicate important news. Coal (associated with fire) brings good luck. Unless it’s in your Christmas stocking.
- Demons fear fire.
- A swallow building its nest on your house protects you from fire and storms.
- To predict your future, pull out a few strands of your hair and set it on fire. A bright burn means a long life. Spluttering and smoldering forecast death.
- In Elizabethan times, people believed that spitting into a fire brought about good luck.
At Old World Stoneworks, we believe that carefully cultivated fires bring the best luck to your home and family. Especially if they’re surrounded by one of our gorgeous mantels. Practice fire safety and a well-managed fire will bring you warmth, joy and good fortune as we move into autumn. So be sure to take advantage of our September promotion and call us today to get 10% off any fireplace mantel of your choosing!