Strange Car Traditions

I saw a car driving past with some tins and cans tied to the back it the other day. After screaming, “Don’t do it you fool”, at the top of my lungs I got to thinking about how this and other strange car traditions got started…

The Tins

Photo credit: Alexandre Delbos

It seems that we can blame the French for this one. There used to a loveable Gallic tradition of going to the houses of recently married couples and banging pots and pans outside until you either got invited in for a drink or the owners set the hounds on you. Tying noisy things to the back of the car after the wedding meant annoying the living daylights out of the happy couple without any worries about wild dogs being sent out to savage you.

The Blessing of Cars

I never, ever saw this happen in the UK but I saw it a few times in South America. Basically, anyone who gets a new car goes to the cathedral and gets the priest to bless it, presumably to keep it safe from harm and to stop the devil from capturing its soul. I can’t find any information online to tell me how or when this tradition started but it is pretty interesting to watch.

Fluffy Dice

My uncle had a pair of fluffy dice which hung from the mirror of his car for about 2 decades. Apparently this is something which is seen as cool in some places, but in the UK it is generally seen as being a bit, well, naff. Apparently, the custom started with US WWII pilots putting dice in their cockpits. That sounds a lot cooler than I had expected and maybe my uncle was a bit of a high flying, jet setter after all. None of which would explain why he had them dangling from the mirror of a Lada, though.

Do you know of any other car traditions which you would like to share?

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