Did your grandma ever tell you to avoid walking under a ladder? Were you ever taught to avoid black cats? If so, you know quite a lot about superstitions already, but even if you don’t, here is the perfect chance to learn more.
People can go through a great deal of effort just to avoid losing luck, and we have compiled 16 curious superstitions from all corners of the Earth.
Even if you don’t believe that avoiding the number 13 is crucial for your wellbeing and think superstitions are silly, you will still enjoy reading through this list because, frankly speaking, some of these are quite funny and entertaining.
1. If you like whistling a cheerful tune while working, or while in the shower, we should let you know that you wouldn’t get away with that in Lithuania. Whistling indoors there is forbidden, as Lithuanians believe that it can summon demons.
2. Did you know that Syria banned Yo-Yos in 1933? If not, you’ll be even more surprised to read why. The local population claimed that yo-yos cause droughts, so the government banned the ill-intending toy.
3. In Germany, it’s a faux pas to light your cigarette with a candle, especially if you’re a sailor. The explanation of this superstition is quite clever, as in Germany, sailors historically made money off matches. This meant that by ditching the matches, you were saving money at the sailors’ expense.
4. If you like to knit, remember to knit only indoors, unless you want to prolong winter, as in Iceland, knitting outdoors is said to postpone the beginning of spring. Just think about it, it’s a win-win situation: even if spring will be postponed, you’ll have plenty of warm socks, scarves and other clothes to get you through the winter.
5. According to a South Korean superstition, you will lose both your wealth and luck if you will tap or swing your legs while sitting. We just hope for the Korean children that the same doesn’t apply to swings.
6. One of the strangest Christian superstitions can be found among the Pennsylvania Germans. They are convinced that it’s a sign of bad luck to shower or change clothes between Christmas and New Year. Well, at least they don’t have so many problems picking out different outfits for the winter holidays.
7. All across Eastern Europe, it is a bad signs to spill salt or pepper. As was the case with German sailors, this superstition has a historical reason. In the past, salt and pepper used to be very expensive, so, of course, wasting it was bad luck.
In Azerbaijan, people further evolved this superstition by assuring that adding a pinch of sugar to the spilt salt or pepper will counteract the ill effects.
8. When you’re in Serbia, it’s a good idea to call the newborn babies you will encounter ugly. We’re not joking, the parents will thank you for it, too. This is because calling a baby cute or adorable, according to Serbians, will jinx it, and the baby might grow up on the wrong end of the cuteness spectrum.
9. Be careful when gifting flowers to Russians. Not only do you have to avoid giving even numbers of flowers, as this is customary only at funerals, but you also have to remember not to include any yellow flowers in the bouquet.
In Russia, yellow flowers customarily symbolize infertility and the end of a romantic relationship, so, unless you wish to upset someone, it’s best to skip gifting sunflowers, yellow tulips and such.
10. Now, let’s move to some advice from Argentina. People in this country avoid mixing wine with watermelon at all costs. According to an old wives’ tale, combining the two will result in certain death or at least an upset stomach.
11. Similarly to poor black cats in much of the European world, owls are considered to be a bad omen in Kenya. It is believed that seeing or hearing an owl is a sure sign of death or at least a vicious curse, so maybe the black cat isn’t as unfortunate as its Kenyan counterpart, after all.
12. Korean pregnant women avoid eating foods that aren’t perfectly-shaped, as an ancient tradition makes them think that consuming misshapen foods will make their babies ugly.
13. The Turkish Ministry of Culture prohibits citizens to drink water that reflects moonlight. The officials assure that it will bring bad luck to whoever drank the water.
14. Another superstition on the parenting topic prevents Welsh women from cutting their newborn baby’s nails. The claim is that cutting a baby’s nails too early will somehow make the baby become a thief. What does the mother do, then, to trim the newborn’s nails, you ask? She bites them off until the baby is 6 months old.
15. The final superstition on our list comes from Russia, where putting on or wearing your clothes inside out supposedly begs for a beating. To prevent this from happening, you have to ask a friend or family member to hit you lightly, immediately upon noticing the mishap. This should lift the curse.