Superstitions and beliefs

Why do we cross our fingers?


Many people tend to cross their fingers by making a wish, or when faced with danger. A person who pronounces a lie can also cross their fingers (preferably in the back). So many different opportunities to cross your fingers!

What is the origin of this gesture?

Crossing your fingers is supposed to evoke a cross . This gesture would have the same power as that granted to sharp objects (scissors, nail, needle …) and could therefore ward off misfortune, chase evil influences and ward off bad luck.

In the pagan era, when we expressed a wish in the presence of a friend who wanted this wish to come true, we had to put our index finger under our friend’s. Thus, our fingers together formed a cross.
It was necessary that the friend / person with whom one expressed his wish wished that this wish is realized also. By placing his finger under yours, the person expressed his support.

With time, practice has become increasingly rare. We did not need a friend anymore to be (almost) certain that our wish is fulfilled: we could form a cross ourselves by crossing our index and our major.

When to cross your fingers?
We can cross our fingers to attract luck to the lottery, during the drawing of the winning number for example.
At the game of roulette, crossing your fingers keeps us from being influenced by the personal magnetism of the person standing next to us, or any other interlocutor.
Crossing the fingers allows to chase the evil influences and ward off misfortune.

For some people, it is necessary to cross the fingers of both hands, otherwise it is useless.



Source : the book of Superstitions by Eloïse Mozzani

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