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The following must not be disregarded:

Choose the right flowers: Never offer carnations as they are said to bring bad luck. Chrysthanthemums are associated with mourning.

Thirteen at a table: It is said to mean the odd one out is meant to die before the year is out. Find a fourteenth guest or divide into two tables. Street numbers, plane seats, hotel room numbers, just avoid the number if you can.

Matches: Though far less people smoke, the hanger-on’s are still aware of not lighting the cigarettes of three people with the same match. One of them could soon croak. Light a new match for the third.

Plain bad luck: Never cross a stream in France holding a cat; never iron your husband’s underpants while wearing a belt (it will cause him kidney pain); if you light a prayer candle in a church always do it from a match or a lighter and never from another candle. If you do, then your wishes and good will will be transferred to whomever the first candle was lit for.