HOW DID IT BEGIN?: The Origins of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions, A Review

by Dr. R. & L. Brasch

Published by MJF Books

A review by John Irvin


“The gift of a lock (of hair) was an act of surrender, based on the ancient superstition that the hair was the seat of one’s vital spirit. Whoever had even a single strand of it was able to influence or bewitch the person to whom it belonged.”

            From the back cover blurb:

            Why do we say that cranky people got out of bed on the wrong side?

            Why is it bad luck to whistle at sea?

            What are crocodile tears?

            And what is a grass widow?

            Where did the expression to eat one’s hat come from?

            What is the origin of the best man?

            Why are horseshoes lucky?

            And why do we all eventually kick the bucket?

            Divided into themes like courtship and marriage, table manners, and drinking customs, right through to the extraordinary rituals connected with the armed services, medicine, and the law, How Did It Begin? is wide-ranging, idiosyncratic, erudite, and engaging.

How Did It Begin? The Origins of Our Curious Customs and Superstitions by Dr. R. & L. Brasch

            I saw this book sitting on a shelf in Barnes & Noble and thought it would be so cool to buy that because I simply love learning where various customs or rituals originated.          

            So I grabbed it and am so thankful I did.

            I enjoyed reading this informative, somewhat comical, work on how so many different traditions were started.

            For instance, I never knew why we “break a leg” when we’re about to do something. Or why do we hang lights on our Christmas trees? Why is there a Christmas?

            Where did the idea that opening an umbrella inside brought bad luck? Why do we send Valentine’s Cards?

            There are so many amazing and intriguing questions asked with answers given. If you enjoy learning the when and why about so many different cultural habits, this book is a definite need to add to your shelf!

            So, take my recommendation and click this link to go buy it: HOW DID IT BEGIN?

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