Strange Superstitions Around the World
Each country has its own range of superstitions that might seem strange to every other country, but they are based on beliefs and are very meaningful to those whose superstitions they are. We may be familiar with superstitions in our own country, such as seeing one sole magpie, said to represent sorrow, but not all countries share those beliefs. Below are some of the most common ones from some other countries, so see what you think about them!
RUSSIA – to celebrate or even wish somebody ‘happy birthday’ before the actual day itself is said to bring bad luck.
MEXICO – placing two mirrors opposite each other produces an infinite reflection, which Mexicans believe opens the door for the devil to slip into the room.
JAPAN – many of their superstitions are around chopsticks. The number 4 for them indicates death, so placing chopsticks straight down in your rice looks like a number four and should be avoided. Also, pointing chopsticks at a person is regarded as rude.
PHILIPPINES – have a tradition called ‘pagpag’ which relates to what happens after a wake. People never go straight back to the house after a wake as it is feared a bad spirit would follow them into the house. Because of this, the mourners stop off at a store or restaurant first.
LITHUANIA – it is forbidden to whistle indoors as the sound is said to summon demons.
GERMANY – based on Greek mythology, they believe that if you ‘cheers’ with plain water you are wishing ill on those you are drinking with.
AFRICA – superstition claims it invites bad luck to sleep with your head facing to the west.
TURKEY – believe an itch on the left hand means you will lose money, but on the right hand it signifies coming into money.
EGYPT – owls are seen as a bad omen, whereby if you see or hear an owl, bad luck will follow.
ICELAND – a local superstition says that if you do needlework while sitting on your doorstep you will prolong the winter.
INDIA – based on legends, bad luck is sure to come your way if you get your hair cut on a Tuesday.
IRELAND – Irish brides often wear bells in their wedding dresses to ward off evil spirits which might try to ruin the marriage.
RWANDA – superstitious women won’t eat goat’s meat as they fear it will cause them to grow facial hair.
KOREA – pregnant women are afraid of a superstition which claims if they eat un-shapely food while pregnant it means their baby will be ugly.
NETHERLANDS – regard singing at the dining table is inviting the devil to visit.
SPAIN – considered bad luck to enter or leave a room with your left foot. They also believe that at midnight to celebrate New Year it is good luck to eat 12 grapes quickly, one after the other.
BRAZIL – putting your purse or wallet on the floor means you will end up penniless.
Whether you believe in them or not, most of us have habits or rituals that mean something to us personally, so maybe not a good idea to ignore what other people or countries respect!