When we see a person running around searching for wood to ward off ‘buri nazar’ or changing the way because of ‘kaali billi’, we tend to wonder how long these irrational beliefs will grip our Indian society. But you know what, these are not exclusive to our nation.
In fact, stranger things happen in the name of superstitions around the world.
1. In Korea, a superstition emphasizes that eating asymmetrical food during pregnancy results in ugly babies. Wait, what?!
2. In Germany, if you say ‘cheers’ with water, then you’re wishing death upon the ones you’re drinking with.
3. Your life might not have a direction, but the deceased in Japan do. They rest towards the North and it’s bad luck if you sleep with your head in that direction.
4. A bird pooping on you is nothing to be mad about. Ask a Russian and you’ll know that it’s just a preview of wealth showering on you.
5. A Turkish superstition has a cannibalistic touch, only freakier. If you chew gum at night, it’s considered to be equivalent to chewing dead rotting flesh.
6. Superstitious women in Rwanda believe eating goat meat will result in facial hair growth.
7. If you walk backwards in Portugal, it means you are showing the devil your path. Want a tryst with demons? Start with moonwalk!
8. No matter how heavy your purse is, in Brazil, resting it on the ground means you will go broke.
9. Hungarian and Russian superstitions believe sitting at a corner table for dinner diminishes your chances of getting married. Ergo, getting hitched depends on where you sit!
10. When in Cuba, even if you’re done for the night, do not declare your last drink. It’s considered a death wish as you tempt fate to make it the last one for real. Well, well.
11. Globally known to be a sign of danger, Philippines believe that the red color attracts lightning.
12. In Lithuania, if you can whistle and you know it, indoor is not the place to do it! A superstition there alleges it summons demons.
13. Familiar with the good luck charm of rabbit’s foot? According to people in Britain and North America, even saying ‘Rabbit Rabbit’ on the first of each month brings prosperity.
14. In Japan, trimming your nails after sundown means cutting your life short.
15. Yellow might be the brightest of all, but a Russian superstition associates gifting yellow flowers with infidelity curse. A blossoming revenge for your cheating ex!
16. If yo-yo was your favorite toy during childhood, it’s a good thing you were not born in Syria. The toy got banned there in 1933 as people feared it caused drought.
17. Thumb rule in Japan, hide it when passing a cemetery. A popular superstition supposes that the action protects your parents.
18. In France, dog poop is believed to determine your fortune. If you step your left foot on it, you’re lucky and the right one apparently opens door to bad luck.
19. Keep calm and knit indoors if you’re in Iceland. A popular superstition believes taking your needlework outside will prolong the chilly season.
20. In Serbia, don’t get enraged if someone spills water behind you. A popular superstition makes it a way of wishing good luck.
21. Calling ‘jinx’ after saying something in unison might have been a game to us, but Italian people believe it leaves you high and dry in the marriage department.
22. Don’t be surprised to hear wedding bells from the bridal dress at Irish weddings. Brides there wear bells to keep evil spirits away from their marriage.
23. In Malaysia, people might consider you crazy for sitting on a pillow. A superstition going around for decades associates it with blisters on your bottom and backside.
24. You might be aware of debates regarding kissing babies on the lips. But in Nigeria, the argument made is that it results in a forever drooling adult.
25. Treat empty buckets like Voldemort when you’re in Russia. Don’t carry them, don’t look at them. An age old superstition considers them to be bad omen.
26. South Koreans believe a fan can be fatal while sleeping in a closed room. Make sure to crack open a window if you switch it on, lest death awaits!
27. A good time pass during craft classes, Egyptians believe playing with scissors or leaving them open mean angering the lurking spirits.
28. No matter how you plan your new-year party, keep grapes in-store if you are in Spain. The locals there eat 12 of them in a go for good luck.
29. You might have wanted an owl of your own after watching Harry Potter, but no Egyptian wished so. An age old superstition regards the bird as a sign of bad news.
30. Any sure shot way of knowing how much you’re loved? Well, the Danish save broken plates all year and throw them at the houses of their dear ones on New Year for luck.
Wherever you go, superstitions will follow!