One mirror superstition which has been around for ages is the belief that when breaking a mirror, it will bring seven years of bad luck. This probably stemmed from the times when mirror was an expensive item. Breaking it would, therefore, be considered a great loss, especially in the case of a servant who broke a mirror belonging to her employer. The cost of replacement would probably be taken from the girl’s wages. If you are unlucky enough to smash a mirror, however don’t despair coz you can lessen the ‘curse’ by carefully wrapping the broken pieces in fabric (preferably red) and burying them in the ground. According to legend, this will reduce the seven years to seven days.
Other mirror superstitions say that a bride should never look at herself in a mirror once she’s fully dressed, as to do so will bring bad luck. Before taking a final look at herself, she should lay down her bouquet or remove a glove or something. If she does look, however, the bad luck can be cancelled by adding something simple, like a hair pin or a piece of jewellery.
Another old wives’ tale states that it is unlucky for a girl to look at her reflection for too long, especially after midnight. This was probably invented to stop young girls from becoming too vain. Likewise, telling girls that they would never marry if they looked at themselves in a mirror by candlelight, would definitely discourage vanity.
There are some romantic superstitions associated with mirrors too! It is said that a girl can tell how many years it will be until she marries by standing on a stone with her back to the full moon and a mirror in her hand. If she holds up the mirror she should see the reflection of the moon surrounded by lots of ‘mini-moons’. Each ‘mini-moon’ counts as a year until she marries (although it sounds more like a damaged mirror to me…)! Also, if you really fancy a boy you should be careful not to look into the mirror at the same time as him, coz that means you’ll never go out together. Well, some people believe it.
Whether or not you believe all these old mirror stories, there can be no denying that mirrors are very useful. Not only do they show us how we look, but they can also be used as decorations. A large mirror hung on a wall can make a small room look bigger or, if a light is placed in front of a mirror, it can make a darker room seem brighter.
Mirrors come in all shapes and sizes and it can be interesting to look around junk shops and jumble sales for old mirrors. Broken or damaged frames can be repainted or decorated with beads or shells. It’s fun to do, and the end result will be original and cool! Just be careful not to break the glass, because you never know…..