One would think that washing clothes are just as simple as it sounds, but there are superstitions surrounding this very simple chore.
Superstitions that have long preceded this generation are somehow being passed on to continue the same belief. Some even say it is bad luck to wash clothes on certain days and occasions like New Year’s, the Sabbath, and Labor Day, amongst others.
Now, are these superstitions true? Is it bad luck to wash clothes on New Year’s, the Sabbath, or even Labor Day?
This article was curated to answer these questions and more by exploring the superstitions and telling you whether or not it is bad luck to wash clothes on these events. So continue reading to find out more.
The Belief Behind Washing Clothes Being Bad Luck
Before we go deep into answering the question about when it is bad to wash clothes, we would like to first take a trip down memory lane to know who and what started the rave about it being bad luck to wash clothes on certain days.
The truth is no one can actually pinpoint where the belief in washing clothes on certain days causes bad luck to a particular person, group, tribe, or community. It is an ideology that has just been passed from one generation to another generation and another generation.
Now is it a cycle people are willing to break, or do they want these beliefs to continue throughout the generations to come? We honestly can’t say but what we can do while these beliefs still exist is to tell you when washing clothes can bring bad luck.
When Does Washing Your Clothes Bring Bad Luck?
While it has been shown that the root or origin of these superstitions of washing clothing at specific times causing bad luck has been established, we would be negligent if we did not indicate when it is bad luck to launder clothes because that is the primary aim of this article. So, to learn more, read the parts below.
New Year’s, which is a time when the transition from one year to the other occurs, is believed to be a very wrong day to wash clothes or do the laundry.
It is believed that if clothes are washed on New Year’s, whoever is doing the laundry is either washing for the dead or washing a loved one away, implying that in the coming year, at least one person from the household will die.
It is also believed in certain cultures that whatever a person does at the beginning or start of a new year will most likely be what the person will continue doing for the rest of the year.
So, if you wash clothes on New Year’s according to this superstition, you may be washing clothes for the rest of the year or doing a lot of hard work. So it is advised to do your laundry and set it aside even before New Year’s Eve to avoid bad luck.
Good Friday, a Christian-Catholic holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary, is seen as a holy event and as claimed by the Catholic tradition, doing any form of housework, including washing clothes or gardening on this holy day is seen as producing bad luck.
It is said that washing clothes on Good Friday, a day supposed to be set aside to honor Jesus’ sacrifice, can cause several bad things to not only happen to whatever individual participates in doing house chores by extension, their family.
According to the Bible, the seventh day God rested after creating for six days is seen as the Sabbath day, and somewhere in the Bible, again, it is mentioned that the Sabbath must be kept holy.
Some religious circles took this a bit too seriously, claiming that doing any kind of work on this day was wrong and could bring bad luck to ever partook in it.
The Sabbath day swings between Saturday and Sunday. So, depending on your belief, you could avoid doing chores or any form of work on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Tuesdays and Fridays
Although Good Friday has been previously mentioned on this list; it is not the only Friday on the calendar to avoid doing laundry.
It is believed by the Bosnian culture that washing clothes on Tuesdays and Fridays mean creating a direct channel to hell and that it could also cause bad luck.
The Bosnian people hold this dear to their hearts and avoid washing clothes on this day, as opening up or creating a direct channel to hell is rather scary.
The Hindus believe that using soap on Thursday would hinder the blessings of Lord Vishnu, who is, according to them, the preserver and protector of the universe, and Brihaspati Dev, who is the preceptor of the gods and the master of sacred wisdom, among others.
So since doing laundry involves soap, Hindus are warned against washing clothes on Thursday as this may cause a bad omen.
Chinese New Year’s
The Chinese New Year is a 15-day annual festival commemorating the start of a new year according to the traditional lunisolar and solar Chinese calendars.
Washing clothes within the 15-day festival is seen as taboo, especially on the first and second day of the new year. According to a Chinese person, the first and second day is set aside to celebrate the birth of the Chinese water god.
To this effect, washing clothes on the Chinese New Year is seen as disrespecting the water god. It is also claimed that when the washing water is poured away, it means that wealth has been poured away, too, because, in Chinese, water symbolizes wealth.
Is it bad luck to wash clothes on Sundays too? You’re probably wondering, “if Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays are out and now Sunday included, where can I wash my clothes and there will be no bad luck?” We absolutely get it.
Sunday made this list because certain religious groups believe that since Good Friday is not a good day to wash clothes, Easter Sunday should also not be a good day to wash clothes or do any hard work. They say it is best to enjoy the holiday celebration and leave work until Monday.
A system, Vastu Shastra in Hindi, tells the followers that some works should never be done at night.
One of these works includes washing and drying clothes. It is believed that when people wash clothes at night, negative energy enters the clothes, and when these clothes are worn later, the energy is transferred to the person and could cause them harm.
They believe that the sun carries positive energy that zaps the negative energy out of clothes while the moon deposits negative energy on the clothes. This is why they are against washing and drying clothes at night.
When Does Washing Your Clothes Not Bring Bad Luck and How Can You Avert It?
While there are days and times when washing clothes could bring bad luck, as established, there are most definitely days, times, and events when you can wash your clothes and not experience bad luck.
Anything outside the days, times, and occasions listed in the preceding section is a good time to wash your clothes to avert bad luck. To take it a step further, we will tell you more about how to avert bad luck.
Wash Before the Festival
For example, it is a known fact that the Chinese festival starts on either January 21st or February 20th every year. If, as a believer of superstition, you know this, doing your laundry and getting every hard work out the way before the festival starts is the clever thing to do.
This also goes for Good Friday, Easter Sundays, New Year’s, Tuesdays and Fridays, the Sabbath, and Thursdays. Launder your clothes, get every hard work out of the way, and properly prepare yourself for the days and times ahead.
This may seem very obvious, but it is a sound warning. Avoid work. You do not want to receive bad luck because your instinct to do laundry on this day got the best of you.
If you know that you are impulsive in this way, try telling someone close to you and have them remind you whenever you feel the need to work on these days or times.
Should You Believe in These Superstitions?
Superstition, according to the English dictionary, is a belief not based on human reason or scientific knowledge that one’s behavior may influence events in some magical or mystical ways.
The key word from the above definition is “belief”. No one can help you fully decide whether or not you should believe in superstitions. Yes, there may be factors that influence you, such as research, but for you to fully accept these ideologies, it completely rests on you.
So, should you believe in these superstitions? You should be looking within and then answering the question for yourself.
Other Superstitions That Can Bring Bad Luck
Asides from the superstition associated with washing clothes bringing bad luck, there are other superstitions from various parts of the world that are said to cause misfortune. Some of these include:
- In Greece, Tuesdays are considered unlucky, especially on Tuesday the 13th. Throughout their history, too many mishaps have occurred, including when Constantinople, an ancient city, completely fell to the Crusaders.
- In some American cultures, getting married on Tuesdays is considered ill luck. It is extended as far as not leaving the house or going on a Tuesday trip.
- In some parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, it is bad luck to return home to pick up something you forgot.
- According to an old Pennsylvania German folklore, it is bad luck if the first visitor you get is a female. It is accepted if it is a man because, based on their ideology, a man as your first visitor means you will get good luck all year round.
- In Turkey, it is rotten luck to drink water from a glass or bowl that reflects the moon.
- In Tajikistan, a country in Central Asia, it is a misfortune to pass money, water, keys, or any item at all by hand. It is recommended that these items be placed on a table for the second person to pick up.
- In some Chinese fishing regions, it is unfortunate to flip over a cooked fish. Based on their belief, this could mean that a ship somewhere in the sea would capsize. So, it is advised to use chopsticks to dig out flesh without flipping the fish over.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I Allowed to Wash My Hair on Thursdays?
Several folklore and folktale traditions recommend not washing one’s hair on a Thursday. It is thought that Goddess Lakshmi is angered if men or women wash, trim, or cut their nails.
Is it Bad Luck to do Laundry on Labor Day?
No, it isn’t. Labor Day, a day set aside to honor laborers, is not associated with any religious tradition or superstition; washing on Labor Day is not bad luck.
Is it Lucky to Wear Your Clothes Inside Out?
Yes, according to superstition, putting your shirt on inside out is good luck. A shirt worn incorrectly is thought to predict the good fortune.
Superstitions are real and have existed for hundreds of years, and it probably started with just one person coming out to say they believed in something mystical. So, whether or not you believe these superstitions is solely your decision to make.
You get to decide if you will be conditioned to wash your clothes on certain days or seasons while avoiding others because a doctrine says if you do otherwise, you get bad luck. Go on and leave comments below if you have any questions, and we’d be glad to respond to them.