Here is a collection of odd, strange, unusual and otherwise curious superstitions and prejudices from around the world for your Saturday amusement.
In Denmark, broken dishes often kept around until New Year’s Eve. The shards and pieces must be shared with family and friends. It is believed that the more pieces of broken porcelain has been collected, the more successful the coming year will be.
In Egypt, it is considered a very bad luck to open and close scissors without cutting the object, and far worse than that is to leave the scissors open. At the same time, the Egyptians believe that placing a pair of scissors under the pillow before going to sleep can fend off nightmares.
France: Stepping in dog excrement with one’s left foot is for good luck, with one’s right foot — for bad.
In Haiti, many superstitions surround mother’s figure in the life of a person. If you walk wearing one shoe, sweep the floor at night, crawl on your knees or eat watermelon tips, the premature death of your mother is your fault.
In India, a lot of odd superstitions have to do with grooming. For instance, nails are better not be cut at night, as well as on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Washing one’s hair on Thursday and Saturday brings bad luck because sweeping floors at night might lead to a number of small valuables being lost. Historically, Thursday is a day off for hairdressers and barbers, and Saturday is the day of Saturn (planet Shani) that ancient Hindus revered.
In Japan, every child knows that you have to hide your belly during a thunderstorm and, even more importantly, before bedtime. It is believed that if you’re not careful, then Raijin (god of thunder) might steal and eat your navel.
In South Korea, it is considered that the fan running in a closed room can kill you in your sleep. That is why many fans in South Korea are equipped with a timer to turn them off before they turn into killing machines.
Sitting on pillows brings extremely bad luck to Malaysians. It is thought to cause itching, blisters and other discomforts affecting their backsides. Perhaps, no Malaysian likes to sleep on a pillow someone was sat on, just like most of people?
Visiting Sweden, one might notice that sometimes people walking down the street change direction or scratch their backs repeatedly and seemingly for no reason at all. This is because of manholes. In Sweden manhole covers marked by the letters “K” or “A”. “K” indicates “fresh water” and, coincidentally, “love”, while “A” indicates “sewage” and “unrequited love”. It is believed whichever letter one encounters more, that’s the kind of love one is going to have. However, this “curse” can be removed by stroking one’s back three three times. Works 50% of the time.
In Zimbabwe, the life is largely ruled by black magic, thus every prejudice and superstition is deeply rooted in magic spells and curses. The groom, for instance, may impose a spell of infidelity on his bride. If she cheats on him with another man, the spell will inseparably twine illicit lovers together. This practice is believed to be a serious deterrent against infidelity.
Russians fend off evil eye using a variety of uncomplicated actions, such as biting one’s tongue, curling one’s finger into a fig (gesture of extreme contempt), spitting over one’s left shoulder three times, knocking on wood three times, wear underwear inside out, wash one’s face in water ‘puified’ by inserting a silver spoon. Works every time!