13 of the Weirdest Superstitions Around the World

black-cat-superstitions

No matter where you are in the world, you’ll always find weird superstitions that people will be terrified to break. I’ve always found them extremely fascinating, especially the more bizarre ones, where people live by them but haven’t got a clue about their origins. If you thought breaking mirrors or avoiding black cats were strange things to believe in, prepare to be entertained; here are 10 of the weirdest superstitions around the world.

 

1) Avoid chewing gum at night; it’s actually zombie flesh – Turkey

In Turkey, chewing gum at night is a big no-no. Why? Because it’s not chewing gum anymore, it’s actually the rotting flesh of dead people. If gum is chewed at night time, the Turks believe it somehow transforms itself into minty zombie flesh.

Chewing gum Photo by: Jun

 

2) Don’t be mean to animals or you’ll have hairy babies – Romania

Next time you think about teasing a monkey – beware, you may give birth to a hairy baby that resembles a little chimp. That’s right, in Romania, they believe that being mean to animals will lead to the consequence of having a hairy child.

 

3) A mouse will steal your soul if you trim your fingernails at night - South Korea

This one definitely ticks the weird box. Ever thought about a late night manicure? Forget it. If you trim your nails at night, Koreans believe mice will eat these clippings and then acquire superhuman powers to transform into humans and steal your life. Yes, really.

Nail ClippersPhoto by: ˜dgies

 

4) Anything with the number four on it equals death – China

If you’re ever in a Chinese block of flats – look at the floor numbers in the lift and you’ll notice that every floor that ends in four will probably be missing. The number 4 is so unlucky because the pronunciation of the word sounds like death. It’s a very, very, unlucky number and this fear is also present in other Asian countries such as Japan and Korea.

 

5) Don’t say a baby is beautiful or it will attract the evil eye – Egypt

Ever thought a baby looks like an ugly old man? Feel free to say it in Egypt, as it’s luckier to insult a baby than to say it’s beautiful. According to Egyptian superstition, if you comment that a baby is beautiful, it will attract the evil eye, so it’s better to say: “oh what an ugly child you’ve got” to stay on the safe side!

 

6) Alway give a Russian an odd number of flowers as even numbers represent death – Russia

If you’re trying to seduce a Russian lady, always count the flowers in your bouquet before you hand it to her! In Russia, an even number of flowers are given to pay respects to the deceased but an odd number is lucky. You’ve got a 50/50 chance of getting this one right…

RosesPhoto by: liz west

 

7) Don’t ask where someone is going or you’re wishing them bad luck – India

If a family member leaves the house, don’t even think about asking them where they are going. To ask the phrase: “where are you going?” in India is an omen on that person and effectively wishing them bad luck.

 

8) Rain on the wedding day is good luck – Russia

Most people would be devastated if they’re big day was ruined by rainfall, but in Russia it’s the complete opposite! Rain indicates wealth and happiness in married life, so get the umbrellas up and hope for a storm!

Rain on wedding dayPhoto by: TheGiantVermin

 

9) Give away your last cigarette – give away your wife – Romania

Another bizarre Romanian tradition – if you love your wife, keep your last cigarette to yourself. If you offer someone the last smoke from the pack, you’re effectively giving away your wife.

 

10) Avoid Seawood soup on the day of an exam – Korea

If you enjoy Korean seawood soup – think twice before eating it on the day of an exam. It will lubricate your brain and due to its slippery nature, the knowledge will also ‘slip out’ of your head.

Seaweed soup in KoreaPhoto by: libsciterp

 

11) If you sit at the corner of the table and you’re single, you won’t get married – Russia

Wedding table plans must be a nightmare in Russia! There’s a strong superstition that if you’re unmarried and sit at the corner of a table rather than the middle, you will struggle to find a partner and never get married. Cheers to the single life!

 

12) Eat Grapes at Midnight on New Year’s Eve for Good Luck – Spain

Forget puckering up for a midnight kiss, on New Year’s Eve in Spain, the tradition is to eat twelve grapes to represent 12 months of good luck!

Grapes at Midnight in Spain on New Year's EvePhoto by: Chris Oakley

 

13) Don’t fall asleep with an electric fan on or you’ll die – South Korea

This one absolutely terrifies Koreans. If you fall asleep with a fan on at night, you will die. Simple as that. How? Well there are a couple of ways – hypothermia or asphyxiation. Fan manufacturers have even started building a timer function so you can be sure it will turn off automatically so you avoid ‘fan death.’

So that’s it, 13 crazy superstitions around the world. From grape eating on New Year’s Eve to avoid chewing gum at night, you now know how you can stay ‘lucky’ when travelling around the globe. Have you ever heard of any other crazy superstitions? Comment below and tell me about it…

 

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'13 of the Weirdest Superstitions Around the World' have 2 comments

  1. October 3, 2014 @ 6:03 pm Henry

    Well, Alicia, this was absorbing! What a lot of research you’ve done into all things barmy! They’re certainly more imaginative than the old walking under a ladder business!

    Now, it may interest you to know that my workplace, Oakham Castle, has a curious connection to the superstitious. It is full of giant horseshoes, presented to the Lord of the Manor of Oakham by peers of the realm or members of the royal family on the occasion of their first visit to the town. Now, most people say that you should hang a horseshoe with the curved bit at the bottom, so that your luck is retained within the horseshoe rather than draining away. In Oakham Castle, however, the horseshoes are the other way up, and it is said that this means that the devil cannot build his nest in the bottom of the horseshoe. Horseshoes presented to brides on their wedding day for good luck tend to be the first way up. The ironic thing is that people can get married in Oakham Castle so, if you go with the first school of thought, there is an awful lot of bad luck towering on those brides from the walls of the Great Hall!

    Reply

    • October 6, 2014 @ 4:17 pm Alicia

      Henry – What a fascinating comment this is and absolutely superb observations! Thank you for sharing all this information – I’m sure other people reading this will find it very interesting too. I shall have to come and visit Oakham Castle next time I’m in town and see it for myself! I think the phrase ‘don’t tell the bride’ comes to mind… ;)

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