Laundry is an important chore, so it may come as a surprise when you discover some cultures believe it’s bad luck to wash your clothes on certain days. These myths are steeped in tradition and superstition, so it may be hard to understand if you’re a newcomer to the culture.
This article will discuss when it’s bad luck to wash clothes according to different cultures and religions. We’ll also explain where each superstition originated and what believers think will happen if you wash your clothes at these times.
When Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes?
There are a surprising amount of superstitions about laundry. If washing clothes is one of your least favorite chores, keep this list handy to use as a way to avoid it, at least for one day.
New Year’s Day
There are a few reasons that some people think you should avoid doing laundry on New Year’s Day. One superstition is that if you do your laundry or the dishes on New Year’s Day, you’ll wash away your luck for the year.
Some cultures also believe that whatever you do on the first day of the year will reflect the next 12 months. In this instance, if you do housework on New Year’s Day, you will subject yourself to an entire year of hard work. That’s a good reason to avoid chores one day a year if you ask me.
New Year’s Eve
While the myth of avoiding laundry on New Year’s Day is relatively widespread, some cultures also believe you shouldn’t wash your clothes from Christmas Day through New Year’s Eve.
According to this superstition, if you do the laundry on these days, you could wash away your loved ones and bring bad luck to your family. If you’re part of a culture that holds these beliefs, you’d better make sure you finish the laundry by Christmas Eve so that accidental spills over the next week don’t leave you without clean clothes.
Chinese New Year
According to ancient legends, the first two days of the Chinese New Year are the birthday of the Water God. Washing clothes on these days will anger the Water God and bring misfortune upon your household for the rest of the year.
The Sabbath (Shabbat)
According to the Torah, the holy text of the Jewish religion, no work should be done on the 7th day of the week, the Sabbath, because it is a holy day.
Obviously, if you can’t do any chores, doing laundry is out for the day. Instead, Jewish folks are supposed to have their homes straightened, food cooked, and the laundry finished throughout the week.
These days, many people might find this rule hard to implement. The Sabbath is on Saturday, which is the first day off from work for most of us.
If you observe Shabbat, getting into a good housekeeping routine will help you relax and make the most of the day.
Those who practice Catholicism believe that laundry should be avoided on Good Friday. According to the legend, Christ was slapped with wet clothing on Crucifixion Day, thus making wet clothes bad luck ever since. In fact, some Catholics believe that all household chores should be avoided, as they can also bring bad luck.
If you think you can use all that free time to do your gardening, think again. Those who believe in these superstitions also eschew gardening and farm work because tradition states that no iron (like a hoe, a garden rake, etc.) should enter the ground on this holy day.
Tuesdays and Fridays
Devout Catholics from Bosnia won’t mind avoiding laundry on Good Friday because, in their country, one should never do laundry on a Tuesday or Friday.
According to an old legend, doing laundry on these days can open a portal to hell. If that’s not a good excuse to skip your chores, I don’t know what is!
According to Veerwaar or Brihaspati-waar tradition, Thursdays are the day to honor Guru Brihaspati, who governed the planet Jupiter. Many things are banned on Thursdays in honor of this teacher, including doing your laundry.
To wash clothing on this sacred day is to risk bad karma, so most households that hold these beliefs avoid it. They also avoid taking out the garbage, washing their hair, shaving, getting a haircut, and cutting their hair on Thursdays.
When Is The Best Time To Do Laundry?
The best time of day to do the laundry changes depending on the season. For example, in the winter, electric usage surges in the morning when people get up to get around for the day and turn their heat up.
Since morning is particularly busy, you should wait until early afternoon to do your laundry. On the other hand, hot days and nights during the summer mean that it’s better to do your laundry early in the morning to avoid the peak hours of 10 am-8 pm.
Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes On Sunday?
It’s not necessarily bad luck to wash clothes on a Sunday, but some Christians still avoid it. That’s because according to the Bible, the holy text of the Christian faith, God rested on the 7th day, Sunday, so they honor Him by resting that day too.
It’s not as closely followed as the Sabbath in Judaism today, but at one time, stores and restaurants were closed on Sundays in observance of this religious practice.
Is It Bad Luck To Wash Clothes on Labor Day?
Since Labor Day isn’t a religious holiday and has no folklore associated with it, it’s not bad luck to do laundry on that day. Some people, however, believe that you shouldn’t wash baby clothes on Labor Day.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason behind this one, though; just something people sometimes do.
When you look at all the cultural superstitions about laundry, it starts to make sense why women in the early 1900s and before chose one day a week to do all their washing. Some cultures say you can’t wash on Tuesdays and Fridays, others picked Thursdays, while a third culture says Saturdays are out.
If you follow Christianity, even Sundays are questionable, leaving Monday and Wednesday as the only days you can do laundry and not have bad luck in any culture. You’d just better hope that New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, or the Chinese New Year don’t fall on one of those days, or you’ll be out of luck for the week.