Thursday, September 23, 2010

Broken mirror, grandma's names-day and anchovies pasta

I broke a mirror today. Is 7 years of bad luck awaiting me? Luckily, I’m not superstitious. However from my observations I’d say Polish people are very superstitious. If you ask an average Pole about it, they’d say they don’t believe such things but all the time I watch my friends knocking in un-painted wood not to allow something what they’ve just said to happen or slowing down when a black cat crosses their way. Another proof is when you look at an advertisement-post splitting over a sidewalk in winter. There’s always a path in snow beaten on it’s sides, because it’s unlucky to go under the post. The statistics from 2008 confirm my statement – they say 58% of Polish are superstitious. I belong to the 42% of non-believers but I find the superstitions charming in a way.

I decided to investigate further a superstition about a broken mirror. It’s genesis starts even before the mirrors were invented. People believed that in reflection on a water surface, and later in a mirror, lives soul. If a mirror gets broken, the soul can’t come back to the body. It takes 7 years to renew body and soul, according to the Ancient Romans (who actually invented mirrors), therefore it’s 7 years of bad luck. There is a way of undoing a spell - first of all the pieces of broken mirror should be collected with closed eyes, and then buried in the ground. I just threw mine to the bin, so I guess there’s no rescue for me now ;)

I bought a waffle cake and visited my grandma – it’s her names-day today. Young people celebrate birthday, older ones celebrate names-day. Isn’t it brilliant? You can switch to names-day after you turn 40, stop admitting your age and still not resign from wishes and gifts. Grandma happily listed everyone who called her with wishes. She gets very upset if someone forgets.

And finally I decided to open a jar with anchovies that my mum brought from Italy two weeks ago. I found a recipe in a culinary book and made pasta.



  1. It's nice that you have a blog now ^^ We had some anchovis pasta yesterday, it was putanesca (hooker's pasta ^.^) with black olives and whatnot... I think not everyone has a name day nowadays, people try to be creative and special with their children's names, I've heard that somebody in China tried to call his baby @ ^.^ Haven't heard of a saint called @ yet ^.^
    Russians are also incredibly superstitious and when I'm with my parents I'm also forbidden to whistle in the house (because money will go away) or to hand something over the threshold (which brings bad luck) or to clean the floor while somebody's travelling... Gosh! So much useless stuff to remember ^.^ But I'm also interested in superstitions, it's a part of the culture and as you explained, it was reasonable a long loooooong time ago ^.^ Hope you don't mind me comenting here ^^

  2. I don't mind you comenting, I'm happy for your comments :) Thank you.
    I haven't heard about the superstitons you mentioned. Very interesting! I whistle at home sometimes... and the money does go away :P My mum is superstitious, if she forgets something and comes back home for it, she must sit for a while, and when a knife or fork falls on the floor we say a male guest will come, if it's spoon - a female.
    Oh my, I wouldn't like to be called @. In Polish we call it "monkey" :P I think we are pretty old-fashioned about names and giving children weird names isn't very popular (yet).