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Morning Mess: Superstitious festival

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It’s the final day of the Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival, and if the forecast holds true, today may be the day for the biggest lineups but the best weather. But you have bigger concerns.

Instead of worrying about parking spots, and wait times, you should be worried about your luck. Because with every pavilion, indeed with every culture, there is not only cultural protocol for customs.

But there are things you can do, drink, eat and even wear to a pavilion that will bring you good luck. Or could possibly bring you bad.

Superstitions are as much a part of a society as its food, its drink and its costumes and dance.

So get out and enjoy the final hours of the festival, and be careful! What you say and do can be used against you (or for you) in the world of celestial superstition!

Here’s a quick list of do’s and don’ts for this year’s festival. (When in doubt, it’s best to take this column with you.)

BRAZIL

Many Brazilians dress in white on Fridays for good luck. (I hope you wore white yesterday to the pavilion.)

Never take a broom along when you move. Throw it out and buy a new one.

If a black cat walks towards you, it brings good fortune, but if it walks away, it takes the good luck with it. (I always thought black cats brought bad luck.)

Its bad luck to leave a house through a different door than the one used to come into it. (So be sure when visiting the pavilion today, you come in and walk out of the same door for best effect.)

IRELAND

Red-headed women have traditionally been considered to bring very bad luck to a boat or ship. (So you may want to avoid sitting next to a redhead at this pavilion. She might pick your pocket or worse, drink your beer.)

Seeing a single magpie is considered to be unlucky, but even worse is if a bird flies into your house. Also considered to be an omen of bad luck is a chair falling when someone stands up. (I’m more worried about ME falling after a few Irish whiskey.)

While spilling salt brings bad luck, throwing a handful of that salt over your left shoulder will cancel out the bad luck. Shamrocks, a rabbit's foot and holy objects are all believed to be lucky and can protect against life's misfortunes. (But won’t protect you from flying salt from a stranger throwing it over their shoulder.)

GERMANY

Chimney sweeps are good luck in Germany. (However in Brandon we don’t have them. We do have furnace cleaning guys, does that count?)

Never, ever say "cheers," or "Prost," with water in Germany. Not even for a joke. Apparently you are literally wishing death on all your drinking buddies. (However if you are drinking with terrorists or someone trying to do you harm, this is advised.)

When greeting your German drinking buddies, instead of waving, you should knock on the table. According to legend drinking tables were made of oak and since "the devil can’t touch oak", knocking on it proved you weren't the devil. (Only try this if you are pure of heart. I won’t be knocking after a few Jaegermiesters. It truly turns me into a devil. Really. Stay away. Not pretty.)

ETHIOPIA

If you urinate facing the moon, you will become sick. (Who comes up with this stuff? And who keeps track of what direction they go No. 1?)

If a bird poops on you, you will have good luck. (What else are they supposed to say? Saying it is bad luck just adds insult to injury doesn’t it?)

If you have hair on your leg, you will be wealthy. Whatever you do on the first day of the month, you will do for the remainder of the month, and thus many 'good deeds' are done on the first day. (I pay my bills on the first of the month. No wonder I’m broke. I’m handing out money all month. Makes perfect sense.)

SCOTLAND

If your eyelash vibrates many times, there is a guest coming to your house. (Or you have pink-eye and should see a doctor.)

Never take a pig on a fishing boat. (Why would you take a pig on a fishing boat in the first place? To the theatre for a movie: yes. But a boat? Sheesh.)

Never cut a young baby’s nails with scissors as it will make them dishonest in later life. (Uh-oh. I know what my parents used.)

To be ‘first-footed’ is a New Year tradition in Scotland that brings good luck. You visit a friend or neighbor as the first guest, or ‘first-footer.’ The ‘first-footer’ traditionally should bring with them a lump of coal — to bring heat to the house, a bottle of whisky and something to eat. (That’s to bring good luck the whole year through. And if my neighbour is bringing pizza and beer right to my door, I’d have to say I’ve started the year off on the right foot.)

COLUMBIA

In Columbia (and many other countries) it’s unlucky for the bride put on her wedding dress before the wedding day. (However if you ask some divorced grooms, its bad luck getting married period. And how does the bride try anything on if she is forbidden from putting on her dress? )

To sleep with the socks on apparently shortens a man’s life expectancy. (To "do other things" with your socks on is not only also bad luck, it’s really not very classy.)

If you drop scissors or a knife to the ground, this it unlucky will bring fights and misfortunes. (It can also rip linoleum and scratch laminate flooring, not to mention hardwood, which explains the bad luck.)

Holly Thursday nobody should have a bath or shower, because that day Christ washed the feet with its apostles. (I once worked with a guy who misunderstood that rule. He ONLY washed on Thursday. He didn’t have many friends.)

UKRAINIAN

Don’t borrow money in the evening. (Unless that person is intoxicated and lending you the money at zero per cent interest.)

Do not give knives or scissors as presents. Girls — do not sit at the corner of the table, for you run the risk of never getting married. (That explains my one aunt who never got married. That and her hair lip, massive basketball lump on her back and lack of any healthy teeth.)

If, during a meal, you drop a knife — there is a man on the way to your place; if you drop a spoon or a fork — there’s a woman who is on the way. (Desperate men who throw all their spoons and forks on the floor hoping to attract strange women to their door are just cheating.)

ENGLAND

In the UK you’re actually LUCKY to meet a black cat. A horseshoe over the door brings good luck. (However an inferior nail to hang such a shoe will bring on bad luck, and a sore head.)

On the first day of the month in England, it is lucky to say "white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits," before uttering your first word of the day. (Can’t you just sing the Jefferson Airplane song instead?)

The number 13 is unlucky. Friday the 13th is a very unlucky day in England (and now elsewhere around the world because of the superstition). Friday is considered to be an unlucky day because Jesus was crucified on a Friday. It is also unlucky to put shoes on the table. (So when visiting this pavillion, you may dance until your feet are sore, even take off your shoes, but for the love of the Queen mate, don’t put your shoes on the table!)

JOKE THIS WEEK

George and Martha, married for 60 years, were sitting at the breakfast table one morning when George reached across the table and began stroking Martha's hand and caressing her arm. George said " Martha, I remember days like this when we were younger, we would finish our breakfast, laugh and talk, take a walk in the park (still caressing her arms looking deeply into her tired eyes) then we would come home and make sweet passionate love all day long!"

Martha blushed and squinted her eyes and said "You know, with you talking like that, it gives me a nice warm feeling in my chest."

George looked at her and said "Oh Martha, that warm feeling isn't me, your boob is laying in your oatmeal!"

BIRTHDAYS

Chad Green

Donna Noth

Kim Kooistra

Pam Gould

Al Trotz

Anthony Chris Campbell

Matt Darvill

Brad Seaton

Julia Howe

Derick McDowell

Karis Boernaert

Anthony Bone

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 2, 2013

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It’s the final day of the Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival, and if the forecast holds true, today may be the day for the biggest lineups but the best weather. But you have bigger concerns.

Instead of worrying about parking spots, and wait times, you should be worried about your luck. Because with every pavilion, indeed with every culture, there is not only cultural protocol for customs.

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It’s the final day of the Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival, and if the forecast holds true, today may be the day for the biggest lineups but the best weather. But you have bigger concerns.

Instead of worrying about parking spots, and wait times, you should be worried about your luck. Because with every pavilion, indeed with every culture, there is not only cultural protocol for customs.

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