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The Neapolitans keep on faith and superstition despite all class differences. A familiar arsenal of proverbs, ritual gestures and amulets provides the necessary equipment for attracting or warding benevolent or ominous-occult forces. These practices are connected with an age-old tradition. Even the Greek and Latin authors pointed to some of these religious beliefs. While the poet Lucretius in ancient differed between religio and superstitio, the Neapolitans have always mixed secular and religious elements.


The jettatore is the „Black cat“ of the Neapolitans. An encounter with him causes terrible misfortune. Those who meet or believe to meet him instinctively apply certain incantation gestures. You should knock on iron, but even better on a small horn made of gold, silver or coral. Above all, you have to show the horns, by using index and small finger to indicate the suspected person.

THE “Monacello”

The monacello, probably a remnant of the cult, which the Romans dedicated to the Laren, their house gods, is the protection spirit of the house. Most of the people know him as a small bogey that haunted through the house. If he carries white, he brings happiness; if he carries red, he announces any mischief.

The evil eye

Malocchio is called the evil person, who brings mischief to somebody by witchcraft. To drevent the accident suffices the "Horn-knock" or a combination of ritual formulas.

Lotto and numerical symbolism

The Lotto game is an ancient folk tradition, based on the faith in the symbolic power of dreams. These get transferred in numbers and can so be "encrypt” and “decrypt". This often magical dimension often becomes to a community experience. Incidents are interpreted as a sign, which get translated in numbers after long in the form of discussions.

Culture and Traditions Archive