Superstitions from around the world

Black cat

Do you ever find yourself swerving three successive drains whilst walking on the pavement or cross the road deliberately so you don’t have to share the same path as the black cat ahead of you? Some may say that these are weird, bizarre and slightly strange, but when you take a look at the superstitions from around the world below, you may think again! There are many superstitions that hold significant mythical narrative and more on this and others from around the world can be found on the Superstitions Of website.



Chewing Gum

Chewing gum is a popular habit around the world but for those living or visiting Turkey, to chew gum at night is a bad omen and is believed to become the flesh of dead people after dark.




In Brazil the most well-known superstition is that if you happen to accidently leave your bag, wallet or purse on the floor then you are likely to lose money in the future. So if you happen to be visiting the country anytime soon keep your valuables close to you – no one likes to be out of pocket!



broken porcelain

Image Credit: Coyau (Wikimedia Commons)

Some may perceive this superstition as one of the most entertaining celebrations to mark the New Year. Those in Denmark save any broken porcelain from the past year and on New Year’s Eve throw it at their friends and family’s houses to wish them good luck.




In Qatar superstitions are forbidden. However, it was once believed that spiders could extinguish fires – if only this was true!



billy goat

Goats are a very common feature in Rwanda, with much of the fortune of the country credited to the farming of this animal. A superstition that still resonates today is that women shouldn’t eat goat from an early age as it is feared that they will grow beards in later life.




Unfortunately for babies in Nigeria, one superstition dictates that adults shouldn’t kiss them on the lips as when they get to adulthood they will permanently drool.




Image Credit: DracoEssentials (Wikimedia Commons)

Superstitions around the world can date back to significant historical events and Russia follows a good example of this. It is said to be bad luck to hold an empty bucket as Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a man with buckets for hands.




For those who are familiar with the devil in online tarot cards you will know of the representation of materialistic and egotistical factors that it influences in a reading. In Portugal, it is classed as bad luck to walk backwards as it teaches the devil your path.


United States

tilted window

Image Credit: Larry Lamsa (

Back in the day when witches flew brooms with a black cat and cauldron hanging at the back, the people in Vermont built houses with slanted “witch windows”, as the common belief of the 19th century was that witches could not fly their brooms into a house with a titled design.



Woman in Vietnam

Image Credit: McKay Savage (Wikimedia Commons)

Here’s a top tip if you happen to be sitting an exam or test in Vietnam anytime soon, don’t eat a banana before doing so. The most believed superstition in the country is that if you eat the fruit it will bring you bad luck as the Vietnamese world for ‘slip’ sounds very similar to the world for ‘fail’.



Italian Flag

Just like the dreaded ‘Friday the 13th’ superstition here in the UK, in France they have their own version of a date of bad luck. Friday the 17th in Italy is celebrated as bad luck as the Roman number XVII (17) is an anagram of VIXI, which translated in Latin means ‘I have lived’. Italians believe that this also implies that ‘my life is over’. Life of Italy have outlined many more interesting superstitions that date back for many centuries.




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