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15 Strangest Superstitions by Country

Mexico: Don’t Place Two Mirrors Opposite Each Other

Placing two mirrors opposite each other creates a cool “infinite” effect, but it can be really bad luck in Mexico. In this country, doing this opens a doorway for the devil. Instead of debating whether this is true or not, we’re going to stay on the safe side and not create a portal for the devil.  

Russia: Bird Poop Means Good Luck

A Russian superstition says that if bird poop lands on you or something you own, you’ll have good luck! Sometimes, it’s an indication that you’ll come into some money soon. We’re just hoping for money so we can wash that bird poop off of our car.  

Lithuania: Don’t Whistle Indoors

Lots of countries have traditions about whistling. Some countries believe that if you whistle indoors, you’ll lose your money. In Lithuania, it’s believed that if you whistle indoors, you’re inviting evil into your home because the sound summons demons.  

England: Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

This tradition is something that happens in both England and America. It stems from the Victorian area and involves bad luck if you don’t do it. Giving the bride something old represents continuity; something new represents hope and the future; something borrowed symbolizes happiness while something blue brings purity love and fidelity. Not giving the bride these things symbolizes a troubled marriage.

Philippines: Don’t Go Home Immediately After a Funeral

Going home after a funeral may be the first thing you want to do, but it invites bad spirits back to your home. Mourners in the Philippines are encouraged to stop at a restaurant or store before heading home…just in case.

Turkey: Only Chew Gum During the Day

In Turkey, you'd better not chew gum after the sun goes down! Once the sun sets, the gum turns into the flesh of the dead. The scariest thing is that no one knows where this superstition came from. Maybe they’re trying to stop people spitting gum onto the ground? Who knows, but most people in Turkey don’t want to risk turning into a cannibal.

Serbia: Spilling Water Means Good Luck

In most places, spilling water means bad luck, but it means something else in Serbia. Actually, spilling water behind a loved one who is about to go on a trip or a job interview means good luck. Next time you have a friend or loved one doing something or going somewhere, spill a bit out for them!

Portugal: Walking Backwards Connects You to the Devil

With anything that has to do with the devil, it’s better to be safe than sorry. In Portugal, walking backwards lets the devil know where you are and where you’re going. It’s time to turn around instead of doing a little backwards walk.

Sweden: Avoid Manhole Covers Marked “A,” but Not Marked “K.”

In Sweden, you need to avoid manhole covers marked with “A” because it’s bad luck. However, try to walk on manholes with a “K” on them because it’s good luck. The reason for this is because “K” means kallvatten, which means “clean water.” The letter “A” stands for avloppsvatten, which means “sewage.”

Rwanda: Women Can’t Eat Goat Meat

In Rwanda, local folklore says that women who eat goat meat will experience facial hair growth and stubbornness. No one is sure where this came from, but some people believe that it’s because men wanted to have all the meat to themselves. How rude.

China: Avoid Anything with the Number Four

Some people in China will avoid anything that has to do with the number four. The reason is because the word “four” in Chinese is eerily similar to the word for “death.” Because of the similarities, it makes people believe that the number four is a sign of bad luck – similar to many people’s fear of 13.

Egypt: Only Open Scissors if You Plan on Cutting

If you’re going to open your scissors, you must cut with them. That’s the belief in Egypt because it’s considered unlucky to open and close scissors without actually snipping. Leaving the scissors open is also said to bring bad luck. Basically, be careful with scissors.

South Korea: Never Sleep with a Fan in a Closed Room

“Fan Death” is a real thing in South Korea. It’s believed that if you sleep next to a fan, you’re exposing yourself to some seriously dangerous problems like hypothermia, loss of water in the body, and even asphyxiation. For this reason, people in South Korea won’t sleep in a room with a fan.  

Italy: Write Love Letters to Juliet Capulet and Beatrice Portinari

This one is a double-hitter. In Italy, writing letters to either Juliet Capulet or Beatrice Portinari (or both!) will bring good fortune in love. This is because of Juliet’s relationship with Romeo, and Beatrice’s relationship with Dante Alighieri. The strange thing is, neither relationships were that great. The Shakespearean story ends in suicide, and Dante was married to another woman while writing about Beatrice.

Spain: Eat Grapes for New Years

Instead of counting down and watching the ball drop, people in Spain are known for stuffing 12 grapes into their mouth when the clock hits midnight. The 12 grapes represent the 12 months of the year, and each one brings you good luck in the New Year.