Read more: Bad luck on ‘Friday the 13th’ and other Irish superstitions
Our Irish ancestors were long considered a wise generation of people, but they were very superstitious. Your average Irish person nowadays would scoff at some of the superstitions of our ancestors, but they lived their lives mindful of these special beliefs which they often referred to as ‘old wives tales’.
Here are some of Ireland’s oldest superstitions:
Anyone that kills a robin will have a life full of misery.
If a magpie comes chattering at your windowsill it is a sign of death.
The shoe or a horse or donkey nailed above your door will bring good luck. But the shoe must be found, not bought.
You see a black cat it is unlucky, but if it crosses your path, it will bring the opposite.
If you come across a crowing hen or a whistling girl both are considering bad luck.
If a chair falls when a person stands up, it is an unlucky omen.
If your ears are burning, someone is gossiping about you.
If your nose is itchy, you will have a fight with someone.
If you stumble at a grave it is considered very bad luck.
If you break a mirror, you can expect seven years of bad luck.
If you spill salt, you must throw some over your left shoulder to stave off bad luck.
The seventh son of a seventh son has the power over all diseases and can cure them by laying hands.
You must never build a house on the site of a Fairy Fort for it will bring you eternal bad luck.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?