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10 Odd Superstitions From Around the World

 Superstitions differ around the world due to the pronounced cultural differences of the countries or regions that gave rise to them, but some are definitely far odder than others. Here are 10 rather odd superstitions from around the world and the stories behind them:
1. Trimming your nails at night – India

Indian people believe that trimming your nails at night can bring bad luck. It’s thought that this superstition arose from people avoiding using sharp objects during the night to prevent hurting themselves in the low light.

2. Chewing gum at night – Turkey

Turkish legend states that chewing gum that’s chewed at night turns into the flesh of the dead. It’s not clear where this morbid superstition arose from.

3. Knocking on wood – Europe

The phrase “knock on wood” is often used in America to ward off bad luck, but the superstition is thought to have originated in Medieval Europe. At the time, many churches claimed to have pieces of Jesus’ cross, and that knocking on said pieces would bring good luck.

4. Leaving your wallet or purse on the ground – Brazil

Although it’s not clear where it originated from, Brazilians believe that leaving your wallet or purse on the ground will give you bad luck with your finances. This superstition is pervasive throughout South America, as well as the Philippines.

5. Saying the word “rabbit” on the 1st of the month – United Kingdom

Despite its recorded roots only being traceable to the 19th century, it’s believed that this superstition has been around for over two millennia. Saying “rabbit rabbit” on the first day of the month will bring you good luck, but if you forget, you can say “tibbar tibbar” (rabbit backward) right before you go to bed.

6. Walking backward – Portugal

Unless you want to show the devil where you are and where you’re going, you really should avoid walking backward – according to the Portuguese.

7. Spilling water – Serbia

Spilling water is much more likely to be interpreted as a sign of bad luck – unless you’re in Serbia. In fact, Serbians believe that spilling water behind someone will bring them good luck. They often spill some water behind a friend or loved one when they’re off to a trip or to a job interview. Water is thought to be lucky in this context due to representing fluidity and motion.

8. Tucking your thumbs into your fingers in a cemetery – Japan

Japanese people are advised to tuck their thumbs into their fists when walking through cemeteries, and that’s because it’s believed that tucking away your thumb, or “parent finger” (the direct translation of the word ‘thumb’ in Japanese) while doing so protects one’s parents from death.

9. Putting empty bottles on the ground – Russia

In Russia, you should place empty bottles on the ground for good luck. This superstition apparently comes from a 19th-century legend involving Russian soldiers. It’s said that they took to hiding their empty bottles on the ground when out drinking in order to avoid being charged the full amount for what they drank.

10. Toasting with water

A commonly-held superstition in Germany is that toasting with water brings bad luck or even death upon the people doing it. This superstition’s roots can be traced back all the way to Ancient Greece. The Ancient Greeks believed that spirits of the dead would drink from the River Lethe, which is named after the goddess of forgetfulness. The spirits would drink from the river to forget about their Earthly lives before entering the underworld.


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Images by Deposit Photos

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