My best friend does it. Her mom does it. I see strangers do it at restaurants, and now I do it too. Whenever a salt shaker falls over and spills, they stand it back up, pick up a pinch of salt, and throw it over their shoulder.
It's one of those obscure superstitions that have been passed down, such as knocking on wood, or not opening an umbrella inside, that we can't help but do. I'm sure many of you are salt throwers too, but do you know where this originated?
To find out
It goes back to biblical times when salt was a treasured commodity since it was necessary to use when preserving food. It was even used instead of money. Spilling this prized obsession was almost considered a sac-religious offense, so if you spilled some, throwing salt over your shoulder was aimed to "keep the devil at bay," (just like when you say "bless you" after someone sneezes).
Some people think the salt blinds the devil so he can't see your salt spill mess, or to keep him from sneaking up on you while you're cleaning it up. In order to follow through on this superstition correctly, you must throw the salt over your left shoulder (the "sinister" side) with your right hand (the "good" side).
The people I know who do this (myself included) just do it for good luck. Are there any other things you do for good luck, or maybe to prevent bad luck from happening? Do you even believe in luck? I'm curious to know.