Why Is It Unlucky To Spill Salt?

Discussion in 'Offtopic' started by danrak, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. jason

    jason empty

    Admin Post
    Why Is It Unlucky To Spill Salt?

    I thought it may be interesting to post a superstition and its history once a week. So this week it will be Why is it unlucky to spill salt.

    There are two origins for this. The first is at the last supper Judas spilt salt. He was the one who later betrayed Jesus. It is said the Romans had started this superstition.

    The second comes from a time when salt was valued very highly. Infact, people were once payed in salt. So the spilling of salt was seen as a waste.

    Salt can also be used to divert bad luck. It started as throwing salt on an open fire while you would wish luck to an enemy. This has since turned into throwing spilled salt over over the left shoulder.
  2. vicki2

    vicki2 New Member

    It should also be mentioned that salt was an integral part of religious rites by the Greeks and Romans. It was part of the sacrificial food offered up. (Not all sacrifices involved animals).

    "The Manes' rights expenses small supply,
    The richest sacrifice is piety.
    With vernal garlands a small Tile exalt,
    A little flour and little grain of Salt."
  3. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

    How interesting! I would love to know this as well! I have always heard about the throwing of salt over the shoulder for good luck or to ward off evil. I never even thought of it before! Makes sense that it was valued back in the day. It could preserve meats from rotting thus providing food during the winter months. I wonder how it got to the stage of warding off evil though.
  4. jason

    jason empty

    Admin Post
    My personal take on this would be it grew from the days of throwing it on a fire. As people had fires less and less in their home, someone eventually came up with throwing over the left should. The reason for the left shoulder is because the devil said said to come on the left shoulder.

    Or another take could be if you spilt salt it was because of a deamon. And to get rid of him throw it over the left shoulder. Again, the left shoulder would be where the devil sits.
  5. LilOne1989

    LilOne1989 New Member

    The last time I threw salt into fire it crackled and popped, that could be thought of as a way to scare off things. I have heard about the whole over the shoulder bit but I never did it myself.
  6. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

    Isn't that interesting! :D Looking at it with to days eyes makes it laughable! Now, imagine laughing at someone doing it back then and i wonder what would have happened to me. :p
  7. LyricB

    LyricB New Member

    Wow, that's some great information. I have always thrown spilled salt over my shoulder because my mom did it, as did her mom and so on. I guess I never stopped to think about why though....
  8. Melos

    Melos New Member

    Throwing salt over the shoulder was to stop evil spirits from grabbing you from behind! It is/was a commonly held belief that evil spirits had to count the grains of salt before crossing the barrier (also grains of rice, sand were used), thus allowing the salt thrower to get away. To this end, tea strainers were also often hung over keyholes. The evil spirit seeking entrance would have to count the holes in the tea strainer and wouldn't have time to enter before morning.
  9. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

    LOL i think you guys are making this stuff up now lol :D
  10. Slashmire

    Slashmire New Member

    Well, that's what mythology is for. Part of it comes from some rituals, part of it comes from stories, and the rest is just made :) You just have to pick and choose.
  11. Melos

    Melos New Member

    :D That is true, but I have read the counting thing before - especially with the tea strainers.

    I've heard about casting rice or grain at the feet of vampires to stop them in their tracks - they would have to count the grains before following you.
  12. Plumley

    Plumley New Member

    I'd heard that about throwing salt over your shoulder to ward off evil spirits, too. I've never heard it about vampires, though. I think they're made of sterner stuff and wouldn't feel any need to stop to count. :)
  13. Draygonia

    Draygonia New Member

    Wrong, you throw salt over your shoulder so that the evil spirit gets salt in his eyes and goes "Ahhh! God d*mnit! My eyes!!! They Burn! ahhhh, im melting.... melting....." And then he cant possess/hurt you because you were a bastard and threw salt in his eyes.

    And if you spill salt and it's bad luck, what if you spill pepper? Does that mean you get good luck as pepper is the polar opposite of salt?

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