Superstition – Persian, Armenian

To protect a car from bad luck, an egg is placed right in front of each tire of the vehicle. Then the owner drives the car forward, slowly crushing the eggs.

Mary learned this from her Persian-Armenian neighbors in Glendale. She said this is done when you buy a new car—almost like an initiation ceremony for the car. She said she is not sure exactly how this is supposed to work, although she thinks it may have something to do with “crushing evil.”

I am not sure how to go about analyzing this, but I thought it was an interesting piece as it combines a very ancient form of superstition—magical superstition, and a very modern object—the car. No doubt this tradition has started after the invention of cars, and after the wide distribution of cars among the Persian-Armenian communities. I thought there must be some older Persian custom that involves the crushing of eggs for good luck, but was not able to find any. At any rate, this tradition is concerned with an issue that concerns us all—motor safety. If Persian-Armenians had previously crushed eggs for some form of protection, it makes sense why they would try to adopt this to the car—we now, after all, spend much of our time in cars, and we are all aware of the dangers of the road.

As for the eggs, they have been symbolically important for so many cultures. Eggs seem to usually connote good rather than evil, so I am not too sure about Mary’s idea of symbolic crushing of evil. The wheels are like the ‘legs’ of the car, and are very important to the car’s reliability and maneuverability—perhaps, then, it is an attempt to instill some of the egg’s protective power into the very rubber of the wheels.