Growing up, the adults in your life may have barraged you with tons of Holy Week superstitions.
You may be told that you should be extra careful during Holy Week because you will be prone to injuries during this period and the wounds sustained will heal slower than usual. Or perhaps your elders cautioned you of the extra powers that the aswang or evil spirits gained during Holy Week because the Christ is dead.
Guess what, other countries have their own set of superstitions as well. Here are the 12 holy wek superstitions that are too good not to share:
1. THE FIRST GOOD FRIDAY WAS ON APRIL 3
According to Andreas Köstenberger and Justin Taylor, authors of The Final Days of Jesus, their history research showed that the very first Good Friday was Friday, April 3, A.D. 33. The historic day is always the Friday before Easter, but because of the Gregorian shift in the calendar system, the date changes as well.
2. THE ORIGIN OF THE WORD “GOOD FRIDAY” IS UNKNOWN
There are numerous theories behind the name Good Friday, but there is no concrete evidence to back that claim as of date. Many believe that the “Good” means “Holy,” while others are convinced that “Good” is used in replace of “God.” Each country and language seems to have its unique interpretation and translation.
3. IT’S A GOOD TIME TO GET A HAIRCUT
In Ireland, one holy week superstition that people follow is to get a haircut on Good Friday because they believe that it will prevent them from getting headaches for the rest of the year.
4. JAMAICANS CRACK AN EGG
In Jamaican tradition, people crack an egg before sunrise. The, the egg white is added to a glass of water. As the rising sun heats the egg, patterns form in the glass — which elders believe predicts how you will die.
5. GOOD FRIDAY BECAME A FEDERAL HOLIDAY IN CUBA NOT TOO LONG AGO
When Pope Benedict XVI visited the Caribbean nation in 2012, the Cuban government granted his request to make Good Friday an official holiday. This allows people to stay home and observe this sacred day.
6. HOT CROSS BUNS ARE CONSIDERED GOOD LUCK
Superstitions say that these sweet, dense rolls are packed with some serious good luck and that the goods baked on Good Friday will never spoil.
Also, the buns are also believed to protect seafarers from shipwrecks.
In the United Kingdom, the buns are considered to be a traditional food item. It is said that sharing a bun with another person ensures friendship through the next year. Also, hanging up old buns in your house will protect your home from fire.
7. DANCING IS OUTLAWED IN GERMANY
In Germany, Holy Week is taken so seriously that they refer to it as Sorrowful Friday. Besides, dancing is prohibited on this sacred holiday, therefore, nightclubs are forced to close or risk being fined £1,000 (about $1,200).
8. COMMERCIALS ARE BANNED IN NEW ZEALAND
In New Zealand, TV and radio ads are prohibited between 6 AM and 12 noon on Good Friday as directed by the Broadcasting Act. This is out of respect for the religious day of observance. The same law holds on Christmas, Easter Sunday, and Anzac Day.
9. DO NOT WORK WITH WOOD
The whereabouts of this particular superstition remain unknown. This belief discourages people from working with wood, burning wood, and driving a nail in wood. A rather obvious explanation is that it would be an inappropriate reminder of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
10. CHANGING YOUR SHEETS WILL GIVE YOU BAD DREAMS
Changing bed linens on Good Friday is said to bring about bad dreams, so if you want to have a good night’s sleep, you should avoid changing your sheets.
This comes from the belief that God cursed Good Friday after Jesus was slapped in the face by a wet material before being taken away to be crucified. Also, almost all forms of work on Good Friday are frowned upon.
11. KITES FLY HIGH IN BERMUDA
In Bermuda, it is a custom to spend Good Friday with a yearly kite fest. During this day, tourists from all places flock to the beach to enjoy a day full of Easter egg hunts, delicious Bermuda food, and colorful kites.
12. EGGS LAID ON THIS DAY ARE EVERLASTING
Ireland celebrates Good Friday more optimistically, spending the day looking out for specific signs. Also, they believed that eggs laid on this day will never rot. Furthermore, some people even hold onto eggs for decades just to prove the myth. Also, the eggs are believed to be a harbinger of good fortune.
The Irish also have a tradition of marking eggs with a holy cross and having each family member eat one on Easter Sunday. Doing this will help bring you good health and luck in the next year.
There is nothing wrong in abiding with the superstitions and beliefs related to Holy Week as long as no harm will come upon people, and no laws —- religious or otherwise —- are violated.
The important thing is, we reflect on the real reason why we are celebrating Lenten season — to remember the Lord’s sacrifices and sufferings to save us from our sins.