Where did it come from to knock on wood?

Even not particularly superstitious people, when they talk about something good, no, no, and even knock on wood - so as not to frighten off luck. Where did this tradition come from?

Long before the rise of Christianity and Islam, pagans in different parts of the earth - from Britain to India - worshiped trees, to which they attributed various mythical properties. Some used them as oracles, others used them in one way or another when performing religious rituals, while others, like the ancient Celts, considered them the home of certain spirits or gods.

Researchers Stefan Bechtel and Deborah Aaronson are convinced that the current tradition of knocking on wood is associated with the pagan belief that a spirit lives in it.

The first version is that once Europeans drove away evil spirits with a knock so that they would not overhear their intimate conversations and would not spoil them with envy.

According to the second version, the worshipers touched the tree to ask for something from the god living inside, or the knock was an expression of gratitude to the tree spirit for “fulfilling” some request. Over the centuries, the religious component has been forgotten, but the association between knocking on wood and luck turned out to be tenacious.

“In any case, in such a simple way, a person tried to protect himself from envy and anger, ” writes Betchel in his “Book of Luck”. "From the envy of evil spirits or the wrath of the gods towards overconfident mortals who attribute good luck to themselves or forget to thank them for the mercy shown."