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Is This Your Unlucky Day?

Find out how Friday the 13th got its reputation — and the stories behind other popular superstitions

girl jumping inside on bed with umbrella

Gray skies ahead? — Nika Fadul/Getty Images

Open an umbrella and misfortune will "rain"

Several theories explain this popular superstition: Since an umbrella offered protection from the highly revered sun, ancients considered it an insult to the sun god to open one indoors. Another explanation, based on belief that even inanimate objects have spirits, holds that improperly using an umbrella would offend its spirit and thus bring ill fortune. The good news is that this old wives' tale, like all of the others, is probably untrue. But just in case, next time you open an umbrella indoors, keep your fingers crossed!

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