Welcome to News From Italy, my blog about our Italian Adventure. Although this blog has now ceased publication I will be continuing to blog and I am sincerely hoping that my many followers here will move with me to Travel Tales blog to follow my next adventures wherever they may take me. The links to my other blogs are:-
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Friday, February 17, 2012
Friday the 17th – Unlucky for Some
Today in Italy is the equivalent of Friday the 13th in other parts of the world, unlucky if you are superstitious. Here in Italy the number 17 has the same unlucky significance that other places such as the UK and USA give to the number 13. To keep bad luck away some people carry a little golden horn as a charm or use the phrase “tocca ferro” “touching metal,” (preferably iron) the equivalent of our “touching wood”.
In fact the number 13 is considered lucky in Italy apart from one time when it is considered unlucky, which is to have thirteen persons at the meal table, but I remember this superstition from the UK also. This superstition goes back to the Last Supper of Jesus and the Apostles.
The number 17 is associated with bad luck in Italy because the Roman Numerals XVII are an anagram of the Latin word VIXI – ‘I Was Alive’ note the past tense! It can be used in the sense of saying “My life is over”
A Friday the 17th occurring in November, turns the whole month into the month of the deceased and is considered particularly unlucky. As November 2nd is memorial day for the dead in Italy.
I am not very observant in that I have never noticed if the Italians miss out the number 17 when numbering houses and flats, but I do know that Alitalia does not have a seat number 17 on its aircraft.
I will take special care today then and Tocca Ferro.
I am also enjoying the sunshine and slow thaw accompanied by the first signs of Spring, the first Japonica flowers and the Mimosa starting to show yellow despite the snow.
Some of the content today is taken from my original post written and posted here in September 2010 Friday 17th