Depending on your beliefs and energy (and levels of anxiety), you’ll see luck unfolding in many forms. From stubbing your toe on the staircase to breaking your favorite mug, all the way to winning the lottery, you can either chalk it up to good luck, a higher power, or to the universe helping you manifest.
Whatever your beliefs are, you’ll surely love browsing through this list of 30 of the strangest superstitions in the world. And we’re not talking about your typical black cats and ladders. No, sir… but don’t worry, these are all just myths; there’s nothing to be scared of. But you better break out your talisman or four-leaf clover, you know, just to be sure…
What are the strangest superstitions in the world?
#1 Avoid placing two mirrors opposite each other
Placing two mirrors opposite each other creates an infinity effect that looks extremely futuristic. While this aesthetic may be fun to look at, it’ll never fly in Mexico, wherein some people believe that two opposite mirrors could open a doorway for the devil… While we don’t believe in opening the doors for satan, but we’re just going to sprinkle some Holy Water just in case…
#2 A penny for a knife
Everyone loves presents, but if you plan to gift someone with a new set of kitchen knives, a Swiss army knife, or anything else with a sharp edge, you better ask them to give you a coin in return.
Why? Well, because some people perceive blades as a tool that can sever relationships, so a coin could hinder it. So save your relationships, people! Have some change at your disposal during birthdays and holidays!
#3 Don’t whistle indoors
If Lithuania is your next travel destination for this summer, we advise that you refrain from whistling indoors. Even if you have the strong urge to whistle your favorite song, you better restrain yourself, because that melodic noise allegedly summons demons.
BRB, refilling on Holy Water.
#4 Itchy hands lead to financial results
In Turkey and the Philippines, itchy hands don’t always mean that you have an allergy or fungus growing. Instead, they point towards financial repercussions.
An itchy left hand means that you’ll be losing or spending money; while an itchy right-hand means that you’ll be gaining money. Which one of your hands is feeling itchy right now?
#5 Don’t play with scissors
Do we even need to explain this one? Playing with scissors is just plain dangerous. And in case you’re looking for an extra reason to put those scissors down after you’re done using them, you should know that it’s considered bad luck to play with scissors in Egypt.
#6 Stepping in dog poop is good luck
Stepping dog poop is gross… except if you live in France. Stepping in doggo’s product is considered good luck if you happen to step in it with your left foot. However, if you set in it with your right foot, you’re doomed, mon ami. (Just kidding. Now, go clean that poop off your shoes.)
#7 Bird poop brings good fortune
Since we’re talking about poop anyway, let’s jump right into this one (ooh, pun). According to Russian legends, you’re in for a lot of wealth if bird poop lands on you or something that belongs to you.
Join us while we stand under a tree manifesting bird poop to touch down on our heads.
#8 Knitting outdoors prolongs winter
If you’re planning to relocate or vacation in Iceland and you have a penchant for knitting woolly scarves and sweaters, you might want to keep your needlework indoors.
This is because some locals believe that knitting in the great outdoors will extend the chilly winter season. Although, this doesn’t sound so bad if you’re a fan of hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, and sweater weather.
#9 Yo-Yo No-No
Yo-yos are pretty basic yet highly entertaining toys. Too bad they were banned in Syria in 1933 for fear that they might trigger a drought. The locals are still on the fence about fidget spinners…
#10 No-Haircut Tuesdays
Indian legend has it that chopping off your locks on a Tuesday could cause bad luck.
Just wait ’till Wednesday, people. That pixie cut with a fringe ain’t going nowhere.
#11 Yellow flowers mean…
Yellow flowers are such a pretty gift to give and receive, but in Russia, these golden rays of Earthy sunshine aren’t considered a beautiful gesture.
A number of locals believe that gifting yellow flowers is synonymous with cursing your friend with infidelity. Oooh, nobody wants that. Better do your research before you check out at the flower shop!
#12 Spilling water is a nice gesture
In most places around the globe, spilling water isn’t such a great thing. In Serbia, however, dripping water behind someone is considered a sign of good luck. Just don’t spill too much, because people could slip and get injured…
#13 Wear wedding bells for a wonderful wedding
If you’re a bride-to-be planning on getting married in Ireland, you will most likely be introduced to the tradition of wearing wedding bells on your wedding gown. These bells aren’t just made for aesthetic purposes, as they are primarily aimed at warding off evil spirits who might attempt to ruin your big day. Pile on the bells, girls!
#14 Forward only
In Portugal, walking backwards is taboo. This stems from the superstitious belief that walking backwards shows the devil which way you’re heading.
#15 Don’t walk under ladders
You know this one. We all know this one, but do you know the reason why?
A long time ago in the dark ages of medieval times, the ladder was once perceived as a symbol for the gallows where criminals were hanged. Also, walking under ladders is just plain dangerous, so just walk around them.
#16 Steer clear of broken mirrors
You know that age-old tale that says that a broken mirror could bring you 7 years of bad luck? Well, it’s most likely a myth, but if you would rather not challenge the enigma of superstitions, better be cautious when handling mirrors.
Also, broken mirrors turn into shards that could seriously hurt you, so that is yet another reason to be careful!
#17 Beware of the full moon
Any sci-fi and horror film/book enthusiast knows that the cinematic and literary depiction of the full moon isn’t pretty. (Why does the full moon get such a bad rep? It’s beautiful! Right, selenophiles?)
Often associated with mayhem and supernatural beings (read: werewolves), the full moon has an ominous image. But in this day and age, we’ll just marvel at the moon’s beauty. We believe that the full moon is just a symbol of nature’s mysterious beauty.
#18 Ward off the evil eye
The evil eye is known as a supernatural human look that potentially causes harm. Those who give credence to this concept can use talismans like the Hamsa to protect themselves from the evil eye.
We say that prayers and positive thinking work too! Don’t give the “evil eye” power over you.
#19 Start off on the right foot
When visiting scenic landscapes or intricate architecture, you better start off on the right foot… literally. It’s considered bad luck to enter and leave a room with your left foot. So stay on the safe side and put your right foot forward!
#20 Don’t open umbrellas indoors
Rumor has it that the early Egyptian weren’t keen on opening umbrellas indoors, because it would apparently prompt a rain of bad luck.
So, if you’re buying an umbrella and want to inspect it before paying, you might want to stick it out of a window first…
#21 Don’t kiss babies on the lips
Stick to kissing babies on their chubby cheeks and on their wittle hands, because Nigerian superstition says that kissing an infant on the lips could curse them with an adulthood of drooling.
#22 Grapes at the strike of midnight
Instead of kissing their partners on new year’s eve, people in Spain are encouraged to eat 12 grapes when ringing in the new year for good luck.
Grapes taste good… so, why not give it a try?
#23 Random silences
Picture this: you’re in a room with friends and you’re all in a chatty mood; throwing jokes and laughing up a storm, then suddenly, an awkward silence occurs. this means that you’re likely blessed with a celestial presence, as some people associate a sudden silence with the concept of an angel passing by.
#24 Carry an acorn to stay young forever
This may not be the Fountain of Youth, but ancient British women often carried acorns in their pockets to maintain a youthful complexion.
It actually makes sense when you think about it, because acorns are loaded with properties that lower blood high blood glucose levels and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Now, if only they ate the acorns instead of just carrying them around…
#25 Keep your bags off the floor
When in Brazil, keep your bag off the floor… unless you want to become penniless. Yes, that’s right, this Brazilian superstition states that putting your bag or wallet on the floor is a symbol of becoming penniless.
We say, don’t take the risk, keep your bag around your arm or on your lap at all times!
#26 Knock on wood
In many cultures, people have made a habit of knocking on wood for good luck or in order to ward off bad luck. It’s one of the most prevalent superstitions in the world, so nobody would give you a weird look if you suddenly knocked three times on the cafe’s wooden coffee table.
#27 Black cats = black magic?
In most Western cultures, black cats have been perceived as a symbol of evil omens. Frequently associated with witches or shapeshifters, these black feline friends have a bad reputation.
But in reality, black cats are just as cute and lovable as their white, gray, cinnamon, fawn, and cream counterparts. Let’s normalize loving all kinds of cat friends. Just say no to cat discrimination!
#28 Don’t jump over children
In some Turkish and Asian cultures, jumping over kiddos is associated with cursing them with shortness forever.
Also, jumping over kids is just physically dangerous. So, DO. NOT. JUMP. OVER. KIDS… or anyone for that matter.
#29 Find a penny, pick it up
You most likely know the rhyme: “Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck.”
If you find a penny with the heads side up, pick it up, because that’s apparently the lucky side. If you find it with the tails side up, why not flip it over, so it can be lucky for the next person who finds it?
#30 Cross your fingers
Crossing fingers is something that most (if not all) of us do when we’re wishing for something good. This superstition has roots in Christianity as it can be interpreted as seeking God’s protection and guidance.
#31 Lucky four-leaf clover
Four-leaf clovers are Celtic charms that offer magical protection and are pros at warding off bad luck. Back in the Middle Ages, it was believed that kids who carried this enchanting flora would be able to see fairies!
BRB, searching for four-leaf clovers!