There are a lot of superstitions in Britain, but one of the most widely-believed is that it is unlucky to walk under a ladder – even if it means stepping into a busy street. If you must pass under a ladder, you can avoid bad luck by crossing your fingers and keeping them crossed until you’ve seen a dog.
Another common superstition is that it is unlucky to open an umbrella in the house – it will either bring bad luck to the person that opened it or to the household. Anyone who opens an umbrella in fine weather is unpopular, as it will bring rain.
The worst is when someone breaks a mirror – it brings seven years of bad luck. The superstition goes back to ancient times, when mirrors were considered to be tools of the gods.
It’s unlucky to spill salt. If you do, you must throw it over your shoulder to avoid the bad luck.
The number thirteen is unlucky. It is unlucky to have thirteen at a table or in a company. The number 13, in the Christian faith, is the number of people at the Last Supper, with the 13th guest at the table being the traitor, Judas.
The unlucky number 13 is often left out when numbering houses, flats and hotel rooms.
Friday the thirteenth is a very unlucky day. Friday is considered to be an unlucky day because Jesus was crucified on a Friday.
Black cats are generally thought lucky in Britain, even though they are associated with witchcraft - a witch's animal is usually a black cat. It is especially lucky if a black cat crosses your path.
A commonly-held superstition is that of touching wood for luck, most often if you think you have said something that is tempting fate, such as 'my car has never broken down - touch wood!'
A horseshoe over the door brings good luck. But the horseshoe needs to be the right way up. The luck runs out of the horseshoe if it is upside down. Horseshoes are generally a sign of good luck and figure on many good luck cards.
On the first day of the month it is lucky to say "white rabbits, white rabbits white rabbits," before pronouncing your first word of the day.
Catch falling leaves in autumn and you’ll have good luck. Every leaf means a lucky month next year.
Putting money in the pocket of new clothes brings good luck too.