Paraskevidekatriaphobics – Have no fear – Friday 13th is lucky for some….


 

I want to be careful here because I have yet to do the weekly shop which involves driving to the supermarket and home again.  However, I like to think that Friday 13th is not unlucky for me since I was born on Friday 13th of February.

Certainly it proved quite lucky for my mother as her first two births had been quite a bit longer than expected.  This time, my father was actually based ashore and was home at 4pm when my mother went into labour.

She was booked into a nursing home in Winchester so they piled into the car and started the 20 mile journey certain that they had several hours in hand.  The only hiccup was having to follow an army truck full of soldiers for several miles along windy country roads, but never one to miss an opportunity for a flirt, my heavily pregnant mother, by all accounts, spent the time waving to them as they blew kisses in her direction.

My father was quite pragmatic when it came to such harmless behaviour but was probably sweating and swearing by now, as he tried to find a safe place to overtake.

Eventually, they arrived at the nursing home and my mother was admitted only to find that, Sally Georgina was in a hurry and I popped out like a shelled pea (my mother’s words not mine) at 6pm.

There have been quite a few Friday 13ths in the last 64 years and thankfully to date I have found them to be causes for celebration not only of my birthday but events and surprises. (The Euromillions numbers are already picked)

Anyway, because of my personal interest, I have over the years spent some time researching the reasons behind the fears that we have for Friday 13th.  Several cultures have feared both the day and the number. Ancient Vikings were concerned that Loki the God of Mischief would make up the numbers around the dinner table and Hindus also did not like that number assembled for a meal. The Last Supper had 13 guests and the crucifixion took place on a Friday.

Since no-one was actually there to verify it is difficult to confirm that it was a Friday 13th that Eve tempted Adam with the apple, but I won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Today many people will not have 13 guests around the table and in restaurants and hotels for example there will not be a 13th floor, table, bedroom etc. Not necessarily because the organisations are superstitious but because their guests are.  Hard to sell a hotel room number 13 on the 13th floor!

However, some ancient cultures revered the number including the Chinese and Egyptians.  They believed that 13 represented the afterlife but in a good way because that is where you would obtain your riches and reverence. (So much for my Euromillions win in this life then!)

Allegedly in more modern times male dominated religious orders objected to the number 13 since it was revered in Goddess worshipping, prehistoric cultures – and was therefore heavily associated with female power.  Girl power is not a 20th century invention, we simply reclaimed it.

Whatever the reasons and stories behind this distrust of the date, there is no doubt that millions of people around the world, in many cultures have definite views and extreme fears concerning their activities today.

However, in Spain it is not Friday that bears the brunt of the fear.. as it is Tuesday 13th which needs to be avoided.

However you can make it work to your advantage. My husband was happy that there were Paraskevidekatriaphobics.   He booked his driving test in 1980 and was given a date several weeks ahead, so he told them he would take any Friday 13th cancellations, and within a week he was driving away with a pass.

That is also a useful tip when trying to see a specialist in a more timely manner or scheduling an operation.. Friday 13th for some reason usually has free time slots!

I have no idea what today will bring.  But then when do we ever know, on any day of the week, on any date!

Anyway… the recommended viewing for tonight is of course!!!!!

 

Have a great day and perhaps to the Lottery and prove all those who fear Friday 13th that it is nonsense…..Sally

 

 

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Delicious Superstitions & Adopted Traditions – Chinese New Year with M.C.V. Egan


Thursday 19th February marks a very important date in the calendar for millions of people around the world.  Although it is the Chinese New Year many of us have adopted the traditions and celebrations. To kick off the party Catalina Egan a superstition to ensure wealth, health and happiness for the coming year and an extremely tasty recipe to delight your family and guests..

Delicious Superstitions & Adopted Traditions

For the past twenty-eight years, influenced by a good friend, and my tendency to be very superstitious, I have made it a point to celebrate Chinese New Year. Twenty-eight years ago I was newly divorced (about 6 months) and not in the best of places, as per my Chinese friend’s suggestion I placed a red envelope with coins under my pillow on Chinese New Year’s and slept on it.

The year that followed was absolutely MAGICAL; I found love, opportunities and of course I attested it to my newly found Chinese tradition. A few years later my husband in a bad mood mocked my superstation and did not add his red envelope; to re-enforce my belief and that year the poor fellow, (now a true believer) had to borrow money from me!

I must admit that when it comes to Chinese Cuisine my husband Tom is a better chef than I am. He has a wider repertoire and likes to make the more complex dishes, whilst leaving the kitchen an absolute mess!

The Chinese celebrate each year with a special animal totem, there are twelve in all, with every year is represented by a different animal. The Chinese calendar is based on a lunar cycle and like the Christian celebration of Easter fall on different dates each year. With a good one month span in-between, thus Chinese New Year is in January some years and in February others.

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Different source say that 2015 is Female Wood Sheep, the Ram or The Goat; maybe in Chinese the translation is not specific. On February 19, 2015 in China’s time zone this year kicks off the start of this new cycle.

I am particularly fond of the YEAR of The GOAT, although I was born a BOAR and my husband a MONKEY. It has always been a good year for me, after all Tom and I married in 1991; twenty four years ago on a GOAT year. This year we are particularly looking forward to all our fun superstitions.

We celebrate by eating foods like long noodles for longevity, dumplings for money and we added our version of Money Bags by making Asian lettuce wraps stuffed with ground turkey or chicken.

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Lettuce wraps the easy way!

(There are many wonderful variants to this dish, so get creative or look up other recipes, great healthy fun food)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 heads iceberg or other “head” lettuce
  • Ground chicken or turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and ¼ cup minced Ginger
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine (or white cooking wine)
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce if you are watching your carbs feel free to skip cornstarch and add more Soy sauce and water.
  • Use your fave veggies, Carrots, onions, scallions, mushrooms.
  • 1 red pepper, orange, yellow or all of them and dice.

TO SERVE (optional)

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce as a dip available in the Asian section of most grocery stores

Brown the turkey or chicken in the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until no longer pink. Add the mushrooms, scallions (any other veggies you choose) and garlic.

Cook until the mushrooms soften. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, (Some people like to add brown sugar) and vinegar, pour over the turkey mixture and cook 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Serve inside lettuce leaves to make your NEW YEAR’S MONEY BAGS

© M.C.V. Egan

M.C.V. Egan author of The Bridge of Deaths and Defined by Others.

 

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M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths. Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. From a very young age she became obsessed with the story of her maternal Grandfather, Cesar Agustin Castillo, mostly the story of how he died. She only spent her childhood in Mexico. Her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. From the early 1970s at the age of 12 she moved with her entire family to the United States.

LINKS
Website : http://thebridgeofdeaths.com/
Amazon: Amazon.com: M. C. V. Egan: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Twitter – https://twitter.com/M_C_V_Egan
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mcv.egan

My thanks to Catalina for starting the week off on the blog in such style…….