Why you shouldn't walk under a ladder: the essence of an ancient superstition

Why you shouldn't walk under a ladder

Superstitionists have signs for all occasions in their arsenal. You can't sit on the corner of the table - you won't get married. You cannot move forward after a black cat has crossed the road - you will have bad luck. You should not sweep the crumbs off the table - it leads to poverty.

However, in addition to the well-known signs, there are those whose origin and meaning are quite surprising. For example, people say that you can't walk under a ladder. How Stuff Works analyzed the meaning of this sign.

It's easy to come across ladders in cities: construction is underway there, and damaged buildings are being repaired after Russian shelling. Superstitious people avoid ladders like the plague. There are several reasons for this.

First, let's look at the practical reasons. Most people do not want to walk under a ladder because it is simply dangerous. If a ladder is raised, someone is probably standing on it and working.

Another explanation is linked to Christianity. Although the church has a negative attitude towards superstition, perhaps the largest number of signs is associated with religious motives.

One of the explanations for stairs and bad luck is rooted in religion. Many believers honor the Holy Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This belief, at the dawn of Christianity, made the number three sacred, and with it the triangle. A ladder leaning against a wall forms the shape of a triangle, and walking on it would be considered a "violation" of the Trinity. In the Middle Ages, this crime was considered blasphemy.

Others believe that the ladder by the wall resembles a gallows. The ladders used to be propped up, forcing the person going to the scaffold to climb high enough to reach the rope. 

Another theory is related to the beliefs of the Egyptians. According to this version, if you pass under the ladder, you may accidentally see a "god" going up or down.

OBOZREVATEL also told why the old superstition about the ban on washing on Monday promises a lot of trouble.

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