Although superstitions can be arbitrary and may seem like they are rooted in an Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, many superstitions amount to sagacious advice even if carried out for the wrong reasons. For example, a popular superstition is that walking under a ladder is bad luck. Whether walking under a ladder really amounts to bad luck that follows you for the rest of your day is debatable. However, the chances of upsetting the ladder or having something fall on you are reasonably higher if you do decide to walk under a ladder. For this reason, there is a scientific reason to beware of walking under ladders.

Some other superstitions can seem far too broad and arbitrary to pay any mind. Having a fear of the number 13 because it is unlucky is one example. Although this jinx may have its origins in sorcery and even the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas, the number 13 is not likely to inflict any damage on you outside of the psychological realm. In a witch’s coven, the number 13 is thought to represent the head who is symbolic of Satan or possibly Judas (whom the gospel depicts as someone possessed by Satan). Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 key disciples of Jesus but may be seen as the unlucky 13th member of the movement when you consider his suicidal fate.

When we examine these proverbial superstitions, they are full of rich history. The exhortation against opening an umbrella indoors is one of them. Some believe that this superstition dates back to ancient Egyptian times. Since the early umbrellas were used to shield people from the sun, it is possible that opening an umbrella indoors would be an offense against the sun god RA. And when you consider the amount of labor that went into building fragile papyrus and peacock feather umbrellas, the risks of damage or children playing with them would be pretty high. A superstition such as this would be a subconscious reminder for people not to think about how they can open an umbrella indoors but why they just shouldn’t as a matter of principle.

Another progression or possible origin of the superstition dates back to 18th century England. At this time, people had large spring-loaded umbrellas with metal spokes. Opening one of these indoors could do some serious damage to any household. It is safe to say that using a superstition to scare your children and to remind even adults is a useful bit of proverbial wisdom. Yet, even today, many umbrellas are still spring-loaded and can cause some accidents if you act carelessly and open them in the house.

Another reason why you might want to avoid opening them in the house is because they will be difficult to get out the door once they are open. For people who are in a hurry and thoughtlessly open up their umbrellas to prepare for the rain outside, having a bit of superstition to guard them against the inconvenience is a good thing.

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