This section is from the book "Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland", by Jane Francesca Wilde. Also available from Amazon: Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, And Superstitions Of Ireland.
To kill the robin redbreast.
To pass a churn and not give a helping hand.
To meet a funeral and not go back three steps with it.
To have a hare cross your path before sunrise.
To take away a lighted sod on May days or churning days ; for fire is the most sacred of all things, and you take away the blessing from the house along with it.
The Irish are very susceptible to omens. They say, "Beware of a childless woman who looks fixedly at your child."
Fire is the holiest of all things. Walk three times round a fire on St. John's Eve, and you will be safe from disease for all that year.
It is particularly unlucky to meet a red-haired man the first thing in the morning. There is a tradition that Judas Iscariot had red hair, and from this the superstitious dread of the evil interference of a red-haired man may have originated.
Never begin work on a Friday.
Never remove from a house or leave a situation on Saturday.
Never begin to make a dress on Saturday, or the wearer will die within the year.
Never mend a rent in a dress while on, or evil and malicious reports will be spread about you.
Some days are unlucky to certain families-as Tuesday to the Tudors. Henry VIII., Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth all died upon a Tuesday.
To throw a slipper after a party going a journey is lucky. Also to breakfast by candle-light on Christmas morning.
It is fatal at a marriage to tie a knot in a red handkerchief, and only an enemy would do it. To break the spell the handkerchief should be burned.
The first days of the year and of the week are the luckiest. Never begin a journey on a Friday or Saturday, n#r move from your residence, nor change a situation. Never cut out a dress or begin to make it on a Friday, nor fix a marriage, for of all days the fairies have the most malific power on a Friday. They are present then, and hear all that is said, therefore beware of speaking ill of them, for they will work some evil if offended.
Never pay away money on the first Monday of the year, oi you will lose your luck in gaining money all the year after.
Presents may be given on New Year's Day, but no money should be paid away.
Those who marry in autumn will die in spring.
The yew-tree, the ash, and the elder-tree were sacred. The willow has a mystery in it of sound. The harp of King Brian-Boru was made of willow wood.
When a servant leaves her place, if her mistress gives her a piece of bread let her put by some of it carefully, for as long as she has it good luck will follow her.
To stick a penknife in the mast of a boat when sailing is most unlucky.
To meet a man with red hair, or a woman with a red petticoat, the first thing in the morning.