This week on our Les Oranges Pressées radio show on CIBL, we are having fun travelling and discussing real estate traditions. One of the most known superstitions revolves around the idea that a broken mirror can bring about seven years of bad luck. Yet very few people know that the spell can be broken by burying the shattered mirror pieces under moonlight. Stories dealing with superstitions are abundant in the world of real estate, and each one has a specific meaning according to its country of origin.
In Anglo-Saxon culture, a red door signifies that homeowners have successfully paid off their mortgage. While long ago in the United States, a red door was seen as a welcoming sign for travellers, indicating a secure location where globetrotters could rest in full tranquillity. In China, the colour red symbolizes good luck and is seen as an entry point where the chi—a fundamental concept which forms and animates life in the universe—can enter a home.
The lion statues spotted throughout Montreal and its greater area also have their traditional histories. In Vietnam, they protect and empower people. In China, they act as guardians, defending homes against accidents and theft. For Buddhists, lion statues are said to bring peace and prosperity, while in Italy, they symbolize power and prestige. In Quebec, homeowners traditionally place one or two lions in front of their house once their mortgage is paid off. Whether placed in front of a door or by a staircase, the lion remains true to itself as a symbol of honour, respect, and power, and can even be seen in popular buildings in Paris and New York.
In certain cultures, tripping while walking up a staircase is seen as a sign of good luck or a possible upcoming wedding. In contrast, stumbling while walking down the stairs or crossing paths with someone signifies bad luck. Apparently crossing your fingers is the only way to ward off this spell!
Even less known in popular culture are superstitions surrounding brooms! According to tradition, when moving into a home, one must always have a new broom and some bread on hand. When leaving an old property, it is also customary to burn all your old rags, to bring good luck to your new home. In England, placing a broom behind your front door will deter people with ill intentions from entering. In Sicily, placing a broom outdoors on the night of Saint Jean-Baptiste will bring about good luck and chase away evil spirits. At one time, people would even hang a broom in front of their main entrance to indicate the presence of a young girl to marry in the house. And finally, saving the best for last: in certain customs, placing a broom on the ground in front of your guests signifies that time has come for them to leave! Who would have thought that a broom could mean so many things?
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