The idea that peacock feathers are bad luck is traced to a superstition that began in the Mediterranean, where the eye-like markings on the end of peacock feathers are called the “evil eye.” The "evil eye" markings are said to be the ever-watchful eye of the femaledemon Lilith.Continue Reading
The superstition regarding peacock feathers is believed to be linked to incidents of bad luck, including unexplained deaths of infants. The only thing that people found to link these misfortunes together were peacock feathers hanging in the homes of those who were afflicted. Since Lilith is a demon who is often blamed for misfortune and mysterious deaths of infants, people started to believe that the eye-like marking on the end of the feathers was a window that Lilith used to look into people's homes.
During Roman and Greek times, peacocks were often served at formal dinners. Before the bird was cooked, the feathers were removed, then placed back on before serving using a honey mixture that acted like a glue. This gave the roasted fowl a luxurious look that was fit for nobility. One such excessive banquet for European kings involved stuffing roast birds inside one another, with the smallest birds being on the inside. The outer bird was usually the peacock because it was the most pleasing to the eye.Learn more about Superstition
Several different reasons exist for the superstition that the number 13 brings bad luck, such as the fact that 13 people sat down at the Last Supper, shortly before the crucifixion of Jesus. The Norse legends included a story about 12 gods sitting at a banquet when Loki, the uninvited god, showed up to make it 13, a debacle that led to a huge battle. Numerologists view the number 12 as the sign of completion and perfection, so adding to it only causes trouble.Full Answer >
Peacock feathers are seen as bad luck in Eastern Europe due to the fact that they were worn by the Mongol warriors who invaded those lands in the 13th century. Due to peacock feathers' multiple eyes, they are also considered to be a seer of everything, and for this reason are believed to be bad luck and are not allowed inside homes.Full Answer >
While opinions vary, one belief is if a horseshoe is nailed over a doorway open end up, it brings good luck and serves as a container that holds in the luck. In this case, hanging a horseshoe with the two ends facing down lets the luck escape. Another story says that nailing a shoe with the ends pointing down spills the luck onto the people in the house.Full Answer >
A bird hitting a windshield is an extension of the superstition that a bird flying into a home is an omen of death. The superstition surrounding birds hitting car windshields is likely a recent evolution of this superstition because cars have only been common since the last half of the 20th century.Full Answer >