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In Greece
In Greek superstition crows are seen as a bad omen, often foretelling death Upon seeing Crows cawing, it is believed that the Crows are announcing the death of an individual. The number 13 cannot be that unlucky as we should not forget that Greece won 13 medals in the Sydney Olympics its' best showing ever. In most western cultures Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day, to Greeks this day is not considered unlucky. In the Greek culture it is Tuesday the 13th of the month which is unlucky Greek Fishermen may spit into their nets so that they will ward off any evil allowing them to get a good catch Bat Bones - Some Greeks consider bat bones to be very lucky. They carry a small bit of the bone in their pockets or purses with them where ever they go. The only problem is getting the bone as it is supposed to be very bad luck to kill a bat. Other Greeks believe quite the opposite. They think that bats are unholy creatures and should be avoided at all costs, and would never dream of carrying a piece of one as a talisman. Bread is considered a gift from God. It has roots from the bible story, Sermon on the Mount, of how Jesus Christ fed thousands with the fish and the bread. The older village women always make the sign of the cross over a fresh loaf before slicing it. No bread is ever thrown away. If it is not eaten in some way or another, it is fed to the animals - chickens or pigs, and even dogs, as it would be a sin for it to end up in the garbage and has to be consumed by some living creature. Evil Eye - It can strike at any given moment. More than likely, you�¯�¿�½ve had it happen to you, but you�¯�¿�½ve just never realized what did it.Take a moment and think about it. Perhaps there was an occasion that you were dressed up and someone told you how nice you look. A few minutes later you spilled coffee down the front of you or split your pants. Or maybe someone told you how beautiful your new vase was and a while later it fell to the ground shattering in a thousand pieces. That�¯�¿�½s the evil eye. To ward it off, there are a few different things you can do. They sell �¯�¿�½eyes�¯�¿�½ here that are like charms, blue in color with an eye painted on them to �¯�¿�½reflect�¯�¿�½ the evil and you wear them on a necklace or a bracelet. You can also purchase a blue bead to wear instead of an eye. Blue is the color that wards off the evil of the eye, but it is also commonly thought that blue-eyed people are exceptional givers of it. So beware when a blue-eyed person pays you a compliment, according to the superstition, it could be disastrous. Another way to ward off the evil eye is with garlic. There are rare instances when a single clove will grow into the shape of a small head of garlic. If you�¯�¿�½re lucky enough to come across one, guard it well as it is the best thing to keep away the evil eye. You can carry it in your pocket, or as I do, keep it in a hanky in your bra. I know what you�¯�¿�½re thinking, but believe me�¯�¿�½ as long as the skin is left on, it doesn�¯�¿�½t smell at all.If you can�¯�¿�½t brave the garlic, there is an alternative. When you get a compliment remember to say �¯�¿�½Skorda (garlic)�¯�¿�½ under your breath and spit three times on your own person. If you know the individual that is complimenting you, tell them to spit on you too. Cactus - No Greek home would be complete with out at least one cactus positioned somewhere near the front entrance. In a big �¯�¿�½Feta�¯�¿�½ can or garden pot, a cactus with its thorny spikes, takes it place proudly warding off the evil eye from the property. Fish are believed to be wise and knowledgeable. But the Church also sees the fish as a revered symbol of silence. Fish don�¯�¿�½t speak or make noise. Garlic / Skordo - keeps evil away. You will usually find beautiful braids of Garlic, or some huge, one of a kind head, dangling in the entrances of shops, restaurants and homes. It is thought that garlic not only wards off the evil eye but also keeps away evil spirits and demons.It is also common for some folk to carry a clove of it on their persons or in their pocket books. Never hand some one a knife. Set it down and let them pick it up, or else you will get into a fight with that person. Greeks believe that Money attracts money, so never leave your pockets, purses or wallets completely empty and never completely empty your bank account. Always leave at least a coin or two. It is also considered good luck that when you give a gift of a wallet or a purse, that you put a coin or two in it before giving it to the recipient. Onions are a popular ingredient used in healing. For colds and sniffles, you can grate onions and use them as a mustard plaster on the chest. To ease the swelling from a bad sprain, grate onions and mix them with a bit of Ouzo. Apply the paste to the swollen area and bandage it up. Leave it on over night and by morning, the swelling should be gone. Greeks believe that in order for a cutting to root, it has to be stolen. You have to nonchalantly cut off a piece of the desired plant and take it home without telling the owner. According to superstition, it will root easily. If you sneeze, it means that someone is talking about you. If you want to know who it is, there is a way you can find out. Ask someone around you to give you a three-digit number. Count each digit together and then count down the alphabet. Whatever letter it falls on, is the initial of the person that is talking about you.For example, 534 is the number given. Add it together 5+3+4=12. Count down the alphabet to �¯�¿�½L�¯�¿�½, which is the twelfth letter. That is the first initial of the person that is talking about you. Because you never know if what they are saying about you is good or bad, it wouldn�¯�¿�½t hurt to whisper �¯�¿�½Skorda (garlic)�¯�¿�½ under your breath, just to be on the safe side. Greeks spit to keep evil away from you. For example, if you hear of some one speaking of misfortune or bad news, and fear the possibility of the same thing happening to you, you would spit three times on yourself. Spitting is also commonly used to avoid misfortune, so you don�¯�¿�½t give the �¯�¿�½evil eye�¯�¿�½ to yourself and jinx some endeavor. Filahta Talismans are good luck charms. Sometimes they are pinned to the backs of small children�¯�¿�½s and infant�¯�¿�½s clothing, while other times people carry them in their pockets and purses. There are numerous items that are used for Filahta that are thought to guard you from evil, such as gold crosses, medals of Saints, evil eyes, beads, sachets containing anything from holy ground or something that has been blessed. Touch Red (Piase KokkinoIt) is when two people have the same thought and speak the same words at the same time. Greeks believe this to be an omen that those two persons will get into a fight and they say to �¯�¿�½Piase Kokkino�¯�¿�½ or �¯�¿�½Touch Red�¯�¿�½ to avoid the argument. Both persons have to touch something that�¯�¿�½s red, right then and there. Overturned shoes (soles up) are considered very bad luck and even omens of death. If you accidentally take them off and they land soles up, turn them over immediately and say �¯�¿�½Skorda (garlic)�¯�¿�½ and a spit or two won�¯�¿�½t hurt either. Whooping Cough (Kokitis) - Before vaccinations were available, Greeks gave donkeys�¯�¿�½ milk a child infected with whooping cough to cure it. Tuesday the 13th is considered unlucky in Greece, and not Friday the 13th. It is customary to sprinkle salt in a new home before you occupy it, as the salt will drive any evil out and away from you and your family. Salt is be used to get rid of an unwanted human presence. If you have an unwanted guest in your home and you want them to leave. All you have to do is sprinkle salt behind them. The powers of the salt will chase him out. When greeting a Greek Orthodox priest it is customary to kiss his hand or ring in respect. But it�¯�¿�½s considered a bad omen to see one walking in the street, and most folk whisper �¯�¿�½Skorda (garlic)�¯�¿�½ under their breath. Crows are considered omens of bad news, misfortune and death. When you see or hear a crow cawing, you say Sto Kalo�¯�¿�½ Sto Kalo�¯�¿�½. Kala Nea na me Feris which loosely translated means, go well into the day and bring me good news.

Last updated: December 31, 1969

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