Knives have been a part of people’s lives for centuries. To this day, they rank among the most useful tools you can own. But because they have played such a central role in the lives of millions of people, it’s not surprising that interesting knife traditions and knife superstitions have developed over the years.
Most have their roots in ancient cultures who explained the world with stories and based belief systems on anecdotal evidence. For example, if you slept in a bed with knives beneath it and evil spirits never attacked you, then of course the knives offered protection from evil spirits. At least, that’s what people in ancient China believed.
That’s just one example. Here are six more knife superstitions and knife traditions from the ancient world. While some still hold these to be true, KRUDO Knives likes to err on the side of caution & recommend you not try anything that may cause harm or fights with your friends & family.
If you thrust a knife into the door of home, it’s meant to provide protection for everyone who lives in that house. While this may have been a belief in the past, thrusting a knife into a door of your home today might require you to have protection from your spouse!
Add A Coin With A Gift Knife
If you gift a knife, especially to someone close to you, it can mean extremely bad luck. That’s because a knife given as a gift can symbolically “cut” the relationship. So, it’s accepted practice in many cultures, even today, to include a coin with your gifted knife. That way, the recipient can give the coin to you and “pay” you for the knife. That counteracts any chance the knife has of cutting the ties that bind your relationship.
Speaking of bad luck, knife superstitions are full of situations where knives can lead to bad luck. For example, some believe you should never close a knife if someone else opened it. A knife that falls and sticks into the floor means bad luck in the near future for the knife owner. Also, never stir anything, like a stew or soup, with your knife. That stirs up trouble.
Some ancient knife traditions hold that you never really own a knife until it has “tasted” your blood or “bitten” you. Some traditions call for using your blade as soon as you get it to draw some blood from your hand, bonding the knife to you. Also blood related: Never sheath a knife after battle if it has not tasted blood, as it will fail you the next time you need it.
The Great Beyond
Every culture had their own traditions for what to include in a tomb or coffin for the dead to take with them into whatever lies beyond. In Anglo-Saxon cultures, relatives or friends sometimes buried a knife with the dead so they would not reach the other side without protection.
A knife crossing another knife, or even a utensil, had different meanings in different cultures. For example, in Ireland it meant a fight was going to happen soon (but of course). In Italy, it meant an insult to the symbol of the cross.
That’s a taste of the many traditions and superstitions that have grown around knives through the centuries. As one of man’s earliest and most useful tools, it’s not surprising that many beliefs have sprung up around knives – both what you should and should not do.