Monday, 6 February 2017

Bread Superstition


Not sure about the luck implications of loaves standing on their ends...

Apparently setting a loaf of bread upside down brings bad luck in France. The superstition supposedly dates from a custom of setting aside a loaf of bread for the executioner. In order to distinguish it from other loaves it was habitually set upside down. People don't want to be associated with the hangman, so they are careful to set their bread right side up.  Supposedly, if a French person spots an upside down loaf, they will immediately right it.

7 comments:

  1. My version is slightly different in that the upside down bread was meant for the last meal of those who were going to be executed. So the upside down bread was a nasty omen.

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    1. Yes, well, best to make superstitions fit every situation...

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  2. A comment from John, who emailed me because he can't make the comments function: Once after shopping Jill put a pain upside down on a hotel table. Martine, who was serving us coffee, politely suggested it should be placed the other way up. Once, at the top of Rue des Pavillons, when I tucked a pain under my arm to shake hands a similar correction was insisted upon. The French also like to see horseshoes positioned open-side up. We have one nailed to a lucarne (dormer window) upright. Originally it was positioned wrong way up. When I asked the roofer to reverse it he agreed this would be more “correcte”.

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    1. Interesting. I've never encountered this superstition, and had never heard of it until recently. It appears to be doing the rounds on the internet just at the moment for some reason.

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    2. I think it's just that French people are so maniaques. To their minds, there's one right way to do everything and any other way is just absolutely wrong. It's all superstition.

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  3. Growing up in Texas, I was told to place the horseshoe open side up so your luck wouldn't run out.

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    1. That's the tradition you hear most often, but there is also apparently a belief that you should position the horseshoe with the opening at the bottom, allowing all the bad luck to drain away.

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