Whistling or Singing

When it comes to superstition, whistling and singing have a special place in people’s minds and the taboos of their cultural consciousness. There are several legends and taboos that surround the simple mindless activity of whistling and the almost mystical impact that singing has on our psyches. Gamblers as a community, are very aware of the power of luck, have a similar relationship with these two activities at the gambling table. Once you consider the historical context of these taboos and the culture surrounding gambling, you can see why it’s not a good idea to whistle while you are gambling.


Whistle at Night and in Japan


One of the oldest superstitions surrounding whistling is found in Japan, and it has been tied to the gambling traditions of the country.  According to tradition the reason that many people avoid whistling at night much, less at the table, has to do with the fact that whistling will conjure up snakes out of nowhere, there is a more figurative meaning to the superstition as the snakes that whistling would often produce at the gambling table are typically cheats. Then there is the belief that whistles conjure Tengu, crow like demons that have a knack for abduction. This superstition was also linked to the idea that people looking to liberate you from your winnings would be willing to go one step further and abduct you for the funds.


Whistling and Sailors


Some of the other big time gamblers, who were superstitious by default, were sailors.  Sailors knew that their lives were always at risk, and they would do their best to build up as much luck as possible to ensure that they would survive their next excursion across the sea. This sentiment was also reflected in the way that sailors gambled when docked. On the sea, a whistle was a way of challenging the winds of the sea and invite bad luck, consequently doing so when play cards for extra spending cash would do the same.


Singing and Bad Luck


Whistling is not the only activity that is known to invite bad luck; singing has been known to taint one’s luck as well. One example is that simply singing in the street will bring you nothing but bad luck. According to some singing before seven in the morning would only invite bad luck in by the evening. A similar superstition surrounded the act of singing at the dinner table, where if you were to sing at the dinner table before bed “evil will get you, and you’ll be dead”.


At the Gambling Table


Even the superstition of whistling at the gambling table in the western world. This whistling superstition is couched in some macabre fear about whistling when someone is walking past a graveyard. The act of crossing a graveyard with a tune on your lips will carry the same sort of bad luck over to the gambling table. This deep-seated taboo is part of why whistling at the gambling table such a faux pas.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress