Superstitions as weird and irrational, but they are a part of our lives. Think about that lucky pen of yours that helps you finish the exam on time or that lucky watch that makes every presentation awesome. Well, apart from your personal beliefs, society has its widely accepted ones.
Let’s Run Through The Top 15 Superstitions Around The World:
1. Walking Under a Ladder
This superstition is believed by Europeans and possibly Egyptians, where one should never walk under a ladder. The reason behind it is that it is supposed to disturb the holy trinity- the father, son, and the holy spirit. And because a resting ladder forms a triangle, walking from under it is said to bring immense lousy luck to the person.
2. Breaking of a Mirror
Breaking of the mirror is seen as a bad omen by the people of Europe. Ancient Greeks and Romans also believed in this superstition. The breaking of a mirror is said to bring upon a household seven years of bad luck. However, the ancient Romans found a solution to wash off their hands of this bad luck bestowed upon them by picking up the broken mirror pieces and burying them under the moonlight (talk about being extra dramatic!).
3. Black Cats
Although Black cats were considered Holy and even prayed to by the ancient Egyptians, things did not last long. Soon people started connecting them with Satan-worshiping and witchcraft. There came a time when black cats were burned alive to banish the evil. Even now, people continue to see black cats as a sign of bad luck and blame them for ruining their perfect day. This superstition is popular in European and South Asian countries.
4. Chewing Gum at Night
In Turkey, this is widely believed that if you chew gum at night, it will magically transform into animals’ raw flesh. People avoid chewing gum at night, and when they do so, there is always a hidden fear inside them because this myth has been fused into their minds since childhood and is not that easy to undermine.
5. The Number ‘4’
In China, the number ‘four’ is connected to bad luck and evil, just like the number ’13’ and ‘7’ and ‘3’ in many other cultures. The pronunciation of the number ‘4’ is very similar to the Chinese word for ‘death,’ which makes it a big no-no for Chinese people. They avoid doing things or buying things in this number.
6. Watch the Crack!
A widely popular superstition among African and European folklore is that stepping on cracks— that includes cracks of mirrors, ground, even sidewalk, releases unfriendly and evil spirits that will follow you and bring illness to the family. Some also believe that these cracks are portals to other realms, good and bad alike, and avoid stepping on cracks lest some otherworldly black hole sucks them in.
Ancient Romans, Americans, and Europeans have all had the superstition that if you find a metal penny lying around, your day is going to be great. The original belief is that these pennies are put there by your guardian angels to give you signs and notify you. However, if you find a penny with its tails up, you should turn the penny and leave it there for the next person to find, or otherwise, you will be haunted by bad luck.
8. Knocking on Wood
Celtic, British, and several other cultures believe that knocking on wood wards off evil spirits. The core belief is that good spirits reside in the wood, and wood also has divine properties. It only makes sense that people knock on wood to invoke the good spirit and call for help. Many variations of this superstition are around today, that it becomes impossible to pin down the actual reason for this. But its importance is signified that the phrase ‘touch wood’ is still used to ward off the evil eye.
9. Throwing Salt Over Shoulder
In western countries, throwing salt over your shoulder is a similar practice to knocking on wood, that is – to ward off the evil and, in this case, to ward off the devil himself. It is believed that spilling salt is seen as an indication of evil behind you, and throwing that salt over your shoulder blinds the evil and thus saves you from bad fortune.
10. The Evil Eye
The Mediterranean, middle east, and South Asians have the superstition that abundance of success attracts all kinds of evil—- jealousy of relatives, neighbors, the envy of gods themselves, etc., which results in a decline in progress and failures. To hold off these negative energies and channel them away from themselves, people craft talismans and beads with the image of the evil eye that casts off the negative energy directed towards them.
11. Yellow Flowers
In Russia, yellow flowers are treated and viewed the same way as in some cultures black cats are regarded. They are considered as problematic and chaotic things that will only bring you hardships. People believe that yellow flowers are a product of evil, and some also think that they can cause death.
12. Itch on the Palm
In some Caribbean and South Asian countries, itchy palms mean that you will soon owe money to someone. In other versions, it also means that money is coming your way. Generally, the left hand is said to have passive energy, and the right hand is said to have vibrant energy. So next time you get an itch on the palm, secure your wallet.
13. Inside out Clothes
In Russia, if you put your clothes on inside out, you have to get a beating to escape the evil that it may cause you, a punch or two, and you are safe from the sin that dwells in the burning chambers of hell. However, now in modern times, people just put their clothes on correctly immediately if they ever do this and have a friend symbolically hit them, and that’s it.
14. Keys on the Table
In Sweden, people do not put their keys on the table in public. This superstition originated from a very practical situation, unlike the others mentioned in the list. Early in the days in Sweden, prostitutes would put their keys on the table in public places to attract clients. So it was fused in people’s brains from the very beginning not to commit an act that may have them misunderstood in a quite undignified way. This act has become a superstition among many people with their myth regarding negative energy and bad luck.
15. Running Scissors
It is considered bad luck in South Asian and Middle Eastern countries if you run scissors without actually cutting something. Some believe that it will invoke dormant evil spirits residing in the house and bring bad luck. Some believe that it will cause conflict within the family. Whatever the reason may be, people avoid doing so at all costs.