You found the perfect knife to gift a friend or family member. But then you remember an old superstition in which it is bad luck to give a knife as a gift and don’t know what to do. Don’t worry! We have the perfect way to overcome the negative connotations associated with giving a knife as a gift.
Can a knife be the perfect gift?
Often it’s difficult to find the perfect gift for a friend or a family member, especially when they have all they need. You’re puzzled, trying to come up with something thoughtful, useful, something which will be appreciated and the person gifted will think warmly of you each time they use such a gift. Better still? The gift will be affordable, too.
Enter the kitchen knife. A kitchen knife (or any kind of knife, for that matter) is a timeless and useful gift. A knife or a set of knives can be engraved, handle customised and selected to fit the receiver. There are knives for a wide range of people: outdoor enthusiasts, culinary aficionados (our kind of people) and survivalists. And for any number of occasions, ranging from birthdays, job promotions to weddings and anniversaries. Before you give one, however, there’s something you need to know: Gifting knives have long been considered bad luck.
Cultural aspects of knife-giving
According to superstition, a knife presented as a gift will sever the friendship between the giver and the recipient. The only way around this is to attach a penny (or a coin of symbolic value) to the knife.
The coin must be promptly removed and returned to the giver as a form of symbolic payment. This transaction prevents the relationship from cutting. The knife is seen as instantly “purchased,” which releases the giver from any negativities that might have otherwise resulted from its use.
Knife-giving superstitions exist around the world. Japanese, as well as many European people, believe that giving a watch as a gift means the symbol of time running out while giving scissors or knives means cutting the relationship between them.
It’s especially bad luck to give a knife as a wedding gift because, according to folklore, it could cut the marriage ties. For similar reasons, a pocketknife should be handed to someone only if it’s secured. Otherwise, it’s believe that it may cause an argument. If there’s been a death in the family, superstition insists that knives should be carefully handled and used only when needed.
If consider buying a knife for your loved one or a friend but this superstition makes you hesitant, try this: Keep a knife in a jar of water by the front and back doors of a home. This is believed to ward off evil spirits. Apparently, they’re afraid of their reflections in the water and on the knife’s surface.
So there you go, get a penny for an easy fix to the above troubling custom. For a great knife, ideas check our page dedicated to the finest Japanese knives and kitchen knife sets.