Superstition: A wildly held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to an action or event, or a practice based on such belief.
LIKE: Touch wood. Say that everything is going great then knock on wood to keep it from going badly. In places like Australia and Britain, they say ‘Touch wood’. German folklore, supernatural beings lived in trees…you would touch the wood as a sign of respect and to invoke their protection. According to History.com, Italians say ‘touch iron’ to avoid tempting their fate and Turkish people often pull on one earlobe and knock on wood twice to avoid a jinx.Knocking on Wood
South Korea: Sleeping in a closed room with a fan on will kill you.
Italy: Spilling olive oil is bad luck.
Egypt: Opening scissors without cutting anything is super unlucky.
Japan: Don’t jab those chopstick vertically into your food. Unlucky.
Russia: Bird poo on your car will bring riches.
Rwanda: Women avoid eating goat meat because it will cause the growth of facial hair. However, I read an article by an expat in Rwanda who said that many women there joke that the superstition was made up by men so they wouldn’t have to share their goat meat.
When I was in High school and on the volleyball team, I would sing to myself the beginning of Georgia on my Mind while bouncing the volleyball three time before serving the ball. At every game.
Putting on your uniform exactly the same way EVERY SINGLE TIME
Base ball putting your hat on inside out when your team is loosing. Started with the Detroit Tigers in 1940…for no particular reason. 1977 and 1978 The Texas Rangers did during comeback wins.
NEVER cleaning a uniform or your hat…Yuck.
Walking under a ladder: Differing origin stories on this. From Egyptians and the sacred trialgle to the ladder used in the crucifixion of Christ. Spooky thing, According to the book, Panati’s Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things, In England and France in the 1600s, crimanls were forced to walk under a ladder on their way to the gallows. The executioner, called The Groom of the Ladder walked around it.
Wishing on shooting stars:
Ptolemy a Greek astronomer—when the Gods would peek at us, a star would fall out. So, it must be lucky if the gods are watching you.
Spooky…In Central Europe, back in the day, people believed that each person was lucky enough to have their own star. When they died, the star would fall from the sky. Yikes.
Trace’s Mom’s pet peeve/superstition
Shoes on the table:
Placing new shoes on the table can be bad for your future prosperity. Any shoes on the table will lead to an argument or bad luck. This may go back to the mining industry. When a miner died, the relatives would put their shoes on the table. Other items to keep off the table, babies, bellows and umbrellas. Fun fact. If you do manage to place your shoes on a table, the only person who can save everybody from the bad luck, is the person who put the shoes on the table in the first place.
Dressler reported that in 1907 he asked 875 students, mostly women enrolled at Berkeley’s school of education preparing to become teachers to write out superstitions that they knew of and then rate them on a scale of No belief, Partial belief and Full belief.
Not yet pared down. And so many I want to poke into some more!
Whistling Indoors Invites Evil
Whistling while you work may be an issue in Lithuania where it’s forbidden to whistle indoors because the noise is believed to summon demons.
Keep Your New Shoes Off the Table
In Britain, it’s considered bad luck because it is supposed to symbolize the death of a loved one. Back in the day, placing someone’s shoes on a table was a way to let their family know that they passed away. Nowadays, it’s also just bad etiquette.
Stepping in Dog Poop Isn’t Necessarily Bad
This one seems unlucky all around but just go with it. Stepping in dog poop is actually considered good luck in France if you do it with your left foot. It’s only bad luck if you step with your right foot.
Knitting Outside Can Prolong Winter
If you’re in Iceland, keep the knitting inside the house. There’s a local superstition that doing your needlework on on your doorstep will keep those temps frigid.
Pregnant Women Should Give Into Their Cravings
Don’t Walk Under a Ladder
We’re all fairly familiar with this one, but some may not know that the superstition dates back to medieval times. The ladder, back then, symbolized the gallows where people were hanged.
Be Wary of Full Moons
Full moons are commonly associated with chaos (even if you’re not convinced werewolves are, or ever were, real). According to Bustle, it’s a popular superstition in hospitals.
Eat Grapes on New Year’s Eve
Also in Spain, instead of kissing someone at midnight to celebrate the New Year, they’re encouraged to eat 12 grapes one after the other for good luck.
Don’t Chew Gum at Night
Brace yourselves. In Turkey, chewing gum at night is apparently the equivalent of chewing on the flesh of the dead.
Don’t Jump Over a Child
Another thing you shouldn’t do in Turkey? Jump over a child. Doing this will curse them to be short. Forever.
10. Hagia Sophia Thumb Turning
Once a church, a mosque and now a museum, the Hagia Sophia in Turkey is also home to a column that has a thumb-deep hole in it. The story goes that the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had a nagging headache cured after touching the column. People now wait in line to put their thumb in the hole and rotate their hand in a circle because of the rumored healing powers.
13. Argentinian Werewolves
And last but not least, there’s a superstition in Argentina that claims seventh sons will turn into werewolves … unless the president of the country adopts them. The superstition was reportedly brought to Argentina in 1907 by two Russian immigrants, where the custom held that the Tsar became the godfather to seventh sons. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina’s president from 2007 to 2015, was said to have adopted a boy as her godson because of the centuries-old superstition.