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Constituencies, wards and local councils

Constituencies (a.k.a. parliamentary constituencies): each electing one Member of Parliament (MP) every 5 years to the House of Commons (Parliament). There are 650 constituencies in the UK.Wards (a.k.a. electoral divisions or electoral wards) is the primary unit of English electoral geography for borough and district councils, county councils or city councils. Each ward elects either one or two councillors to be members of the local council. There were 9,456 electoral wards/divisions in the UK and each ward has an average electorate of about 5,500 people, but ward population can vary substantially.Local council is made up of a number of Councillors (Cllr) who meet regularly to make decisions about the direction of the council and the work it does for the community. As elected bodies local councils are responsible to their local community. Attending a council meeting is the best way to find out what they do and how they make decisions. Members of public can attend public council meetin…

Touch wood and spit

Touch wood or knock on wood is a popular saying to reverse any bad luck that might come your way, due to a recent action you have taken or comment you have made. The superstition is that if someone remarks about something not wished for, or something that has not happened lately, they should immediately touch or knock on wood to avoid the fulfillment of bad luck, or the event not desired. For example, people are likely to touch wood immediately after answering a question in the negative, such as "no, I have not been sick lately."

In China, people spit after making a bad luck comment, especially in the Chinese new year season.

Touching wood after boasting of one's good fortune, or exemption from bad luck, was thought necessary to keep the streak of good luck intact. Touching wood is also practiced after an activity or event that has gone excessively well. As an example, if you give a good presentation you should touch wood afterwards to continue the success you are experiencing. People will often go to great lengths to find a piece of wood to touch after one of the events described above have occurred. They believe that if they do not touch wood, the fates will wreak vengeance upon them.

Touching wood is also a superstition practiced to ensure safety and good fortune at the start of a day or activity. Athletes and actors are among two of the professions that practice this superstition to increase the good luck they will have in their upcoming game or show.

The origin of the use of wood is thought to be associated with the cross that Jesus was crucified upon. Smaller crucifix pendants were made and worn as good luck charms, often made from wood. Wood then began to be associated with safety, magic and good fortune.

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