People across the world tend to believe some pretty outlandish things. Even here in the West, it’s common to hold a belief that it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder or open an umbrella inside.
While these superstitions might seem normal to us, they’d probably seem pretty weird to people in South America or Africa. Likewise, people from other places tend to believe some things that we find awfully strange.
Here are some of the weirdest superstitions from around the globe.
- In Germany, it’s considered bad form to wish someone a happy birthday before the actual day. This is because of an older belief that demons had the power to listen to our good wishes and try to prevent them from coming true.
- Most people are familiar with the alleged bad luck surrounding Friday the 13th, but in Spain, people are wary of Tuesday the 13th.
- In Poland, it’s considered bad luck to leave your bag on the ground. If you do, your money might mysteriously jump out.
- In Turkey, people try to avoid directly handing a knife or a pair of scissors to someone. It’s believed that doing so will precipitate a fight or confrontation between the two.
- In Brazil, some people avoid pointing at stars because it’s said that doing so will give you warts.
- In Vietnam, you should avoid sleeping with makeup on your face or else demons might mistake you for one of their own.
- In Greece, it’s fine to toast someone with an alcoholic drink – but not with water, unless the person that you’re toasting is dead.
- Another Spanish superstition, which has made its way to many Latin American countries, suggests that anyone who can eat 12 grapes within the first 12 seconds of a new year will be blessed with good luck for the next 12 months.
- In Korea, it’s believed that sleeping with the fan on makes you more likely to die during your sleep – especially if you’re very young or very old. This superstition runs so deep that one of the professors at the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering in Korea actually kept track of his daughter’s vitals when she slept with a fan.
- In India, it’s believed to be bad luck to call out to someone as they leave the house – so make sure that you’ve said all that you need to say before they turn to leave.
- In Serbia, it’s considered good luck if someone spreads water on the ground in front of you before you leave.
- If you’re from the U.S., you are probably aware that black cats are often recognized as a sign of bad luck. In the U.K., however, people tend to believe that black cats are an indicator of good luck.
- The Japanese – masters of the art of feng shui – believe that if you sleep with your pillow facing northwards, it can shorten your lifespan.
- In Romania, if you exit a room from a different door than the one you entered from can bring you bad luck (apparently).
These are just a few of the thousands of different superstitions that people across the globe believe. It seems that humans always need something to believe in – even if it’s weird.