National Defy Superstition Day is celebrated on September 13. The 13th of the month is a significant number, and it’s the day when many people are defying superstitions around the world. The etymology of ‘superstition’ is from the Latin word ‘superstitio,’ which means “to stand over or above.” It describes the belief in or practice of events or processes that are not explained by science or reason. There are superstitious beliefs held in every culture. You might be surprised to learn that these superstitions may have started with very logical reasoning and, over time, got blown out of proportion.
History of Defy Superstition Day
Superstitions are beliefs that have no factual support but many people still choose to follow them. While some believe that following superstitions can bring them good luck, others follow these traditions because they are afraid of what might happen if they don’t. Because of this fear, superstition has been a part of human history for centuries.
The history of superstition is a complex and fascinating one. While many superstitions are harmless, they can also lead to discrimination, prejudice, and even violence. This is especially true when they’re combined with religious beliefs. The links between religion and superstition are too numerous to mention here. One example is that people blamed witches for causing storms, diseases, and other natural disasters during the Middle Ages. Another example is that in the 19th Century, scientists thought evolution threatened Christianity. As a result, some people avoided scientific research because they feared it would contradict their religious beliefs.
On October 20, 1925, Walter Davenport’s article was published in The Christian Science Monitor. Davenport says that superstitions are like “foolish fears” because they make people think they are doing something wrong when they are not. He then explains where some superstitions come from: “the stories of witches and howling wolves may be traced back to men’s fears of unknown dangers lurking in the dark places — fears which were perhaps heightened by the fact that there were indeed wolves roaming about Europe at one time.”
The origins of this day are not entirely clear. Some sources say that the originator was Tom Fernsler, a professor at the University of Delaware. He first observed it in 1987 and encouraged people to defy superstitions all day long, especially those related to the number 13.
Defy Superstition Day timeline
The word ‘superstition,’ first appears in the English language.
Evolution is considered a threat to Christianity, and as a result, some people avoid scientific research because they are afraid it will contradict their religious beliefs.
In a published article, Walter Davenport says that superstitions are like "foolish fears" because they make people think they are doing something wrong when, in fact, they are not.
Tom Fernsler, a professor at the University of Delaware, encourages people to defy superstitions all day long, especially those related to the number 13.
Defy Superstition Day FAQs
What is a superstition?
A superstition is a belief that does not have scientific evidence to support it. The superstition that it is bad luck to walk under a ladder stems from the ancient belief that ladders are used in the afterlife to carry demons up from hell and onto the earth.
What are some of the most common superstitions?
Friday the 13th and seeing a black cat cross the street is bad luck. When your palm itches or you find a penny, it means good luck.
What is the most superstitious country?
People living in India are the most superstitious — from believing that you should not sweep after sunset to bad omens for pregnant women during an eclipse, some Indians believe it all.
Defy Superstition Day Activities
Open an umbrella inside the house
Celebrate National Defy Superstition Day by opening an umbrella inside the house. It's said that if you open an umbrella inside the house, you will have bad luck. But on this day, it's okay to break the rules.
Walk under a ladder
Walking under a ladder is considered bad luck because it symbolizes falling from the ladder. But if you want to celebrate National Defy Superstition Day, then go ahead and walk under it! It's just a piece of wood, after all!
Break a mirror
The best way to break the mirror is with a hammer or other blunt object. Try not to use your fist because it might hurt more than it has to. There's no reason why breaking a mirror would bring bad luck if you think about it. It's just an old wives' tale.
5 Superstitions From Around The World
Chewing gum at night
In Turkey, it's thought that chewing gum is magically transformed into the flesh of the deceased after dark.
Giving yellow flowers
Since ancient times, colors have been associated with many different meanings; for example, in Russia, yellow flowers are problematic because they're supposed to represent infidelity or separation.
Some South American cultures believe you will never marry if a broom sweeps over your feet, and the evil spell can only be broken if you spit on the broom.
Tucking thumbs in inside of a cemetery
Japanese people connect the words 'thumb' and 'parent,' so they tuck their thumbs in to protect their parents from death.
Curse of the evil eye
Mediterranean people believe that achieving too much success invites anger or inspires the gods' envy; to protect against curses, they began fashioning amulets and beads with an image of an “evil eye,” sometimes referred to as ‘nazars,’ to help ward off horrible fate.
Why We Love Defy Superstition Day
Makes people stop believing in superstitions
The idea behind Defy Superstition Day is that people would stop believing in superstitions on this day. Instead, people should use their critical thinking skills to determine whether something is true or false.
Opportunity for people to learn about superstitions
National Defy Superstition Day is an opportunity for people to learn about different superstitions and how they affect our lives. It's also a time to share the superstitions you've defied or learned about.
It reminds people about the facts
It reminds people that superstitions are nothing more than unfounded beliefs. It's a day to put aside worry and worrywart thinking, which makes you feel anxious and powerless, and instead feel empowered by accepting that you're in control of your destiny.
Defy Superstition Day dates