I read Michelle Morgan’s column in this Thursday’s Telegraph (10th January) with a wry smile... I too had noticed that this year people had left their Christmas decorations up long after Twelfth Night.
Just on my street my opposite neighbour only removed their wreath yesterday, and next door still have an array of twinkling lights in a Christmas tree growing in the back garden!
Now, I’m not normally superstitious, but I’m pretty sure I’ve been told somewhere that it’s considered bad luck to have such things on display after the festive season has ended.
In fact, one year I had a small snowman hanging in the hallway which we’d forgotten to take down by 6th January – I then wouldn’t let my husband remove it until the following year because I thought it could be unlucky. To be fair, it was very small, tasteful and unobtrusive so nobody probably even noticed it!
This topic got me thinking then about superstitions. Not walking under ladders seems obvious to me – you don’t want something to drop on your head from the work being carried out above.
However, others seem less sensible, like saluting magpies. Does anyone else do this or know from where it originated?!
I ‘acquired’ this habit from a lady I once worked with at RS Components – we were travelling together to
on a computer course and every so often she’d wave her hand. When I asked her why, she replied, very matter of factly, ‘I’m saluting magpies! It’s bad luck not to.’ I’d never heard of this before, but I did remember the Magpie TV show from the 70s and its theme tune of ‘One for sorrow, two for joy’, so I thought that maybe there was something to it. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I too have saluted the little black and white birds ever since, which makes driving down Gretton Brook Road an absolute ‘joy’ as they’re everywhere!! Peterborough