Breaking a Mirror

Break a mirror and you'll have seven years bad luck is a superstition shared by millions of people.

Centuries before breakable mirrors were invented a shiny surface was considered a tool of the gods. Early man wondered at his reflection in the waters of ponds and lakes. Since he had no scientific knowledge he supposed this to be the soul or "other" self, as he called himself in his dreams. He believed that this "other" self was injured if disturbed in any way. Years later when glass mirrors were made, the breaking of a mirror meant harm to the "other" self.

Then, in about the first century C.E., the Romans decided that it meant not only bad luck but seven long years of great misfortune!

Why seven? Well, there was a Roman belief that life renewed itself every seven years. Since a broken mirror meant "broken" health, it was thought that one would need seven years in which to recover.

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