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Superstitions

Reading: Most people in the world have similar superstitions. Here are some of them:

  1. It's extremely unlucky to walk under a ladder proper against a wall or building. But if you must pass under a ladder? You can avoid bad luck by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you see a dog.
  2. It's unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must take a pinch and throw it over your left shoulder.
  3. It's very bad luck to open umbrella in the house v it will either bring misfortune to the person who has opened or to those who live in the house.
  4. It's unlucky to take the last piece of bread on the plate.
  5. It's unlucky to meet ot pass someone on the stairs. If it-s unavoidable, cross your fingers.
  6. It's unlucky to see one magpie. However, it-s lucky to see two, etc.
  7. It's unlucky to put shoes on the table. It-s bad luck to put up scissors that you-ve dropped.
  8. It's extremely unlucky to break a mirror. It means 7 years of bad luck.
  9. The number 13 is very unlucky and Friday the 13th is a very unlucky date.
  10. Burning cheeks or ears mean someone is talking about you. It's a friend if your left cheek is burning. It's an enemy.
  11. A black cat crossing your pass will bring you bad luck.
  12. A horseshoe over the door of a new house brings good luck. But it must be the right way up. The luck run out of a horseshoe if it-s upside down.
  13. Clover usually has three leaves, but a few have four. A clover with four leaves is supposed to bring good luck.
  14. It's lucky to touch wood. If you feel you-ve said something that is tempting fate, touch some item of wood with the right hand.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are superstitions?
  2. Why do people believe in such things?
  3. What are the most common ones?
  4. Which of the mentioned do you follow? 
  5. Is anyone in your surroundings superstitious? 
  6. How does he or she prove their point ?
  7. Compare russian superstitions to foreign ones if you know any.
  8. In your opinion, why is it if one doesn't follow a superstition mishap/misfortune may occur?
  9. Do you have any superstitions from personal experience(s)?

Vocabulary:

  • Superstition (n) - a belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge
  • Register (n) – a formal list, documentation or record of acts, events
  • Widespread (adj) - accepted by or occurring among many people; extending over a wide area
  • Numerology (n) – the study of numbers, regarding the year of one's birth, to determine one’s future
  • Strokes (n) - a single complete movement, especially one continuously repeated in some process
  • Reverse (v) - to turn in an opposite position
  • Contradict (v) - to do or say the opposite of your actions or words
  • Twitching (v) - to move (a part of the body) with a sudden, jerking motion
  • Customs (n) - a habitual practice; the usual way of acting in given situation
  • Intentionally (adj) – done on purpose

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