Celebrating your birthday in Argentina from 25 Superstitions and Bad Omens from Around the World

25 Superstitions and Bad Omens from Around the World

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Celebrating your birthday in Argentina
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Celebrating your birthday in Argentina

According to the Vamos Spanish Academy, never celebrate your birthday or say happy birthday before the actual day; it’s bad luck. Instead, people should greet you “feliz día” (happy day) on the days leading up to it.

Keep an elephant in your house if you live in Brazil
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Keep an elephant in your house if you live in Brazil

If you’re broke or just in need of some more money, keep a figurine or statue of an elephant in your home. According to superstitionsof.com you must always place the elephant with its tail pointing toward the door.

Don’t pass the salt in Chile
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Don’t pass the salt in Chile

Never pass the salt from your hand directly to your partners hand because it is thought to lead to a falling out with that person according to theculturetrip.com. Instead, place the salt on the table near them.

In China beware of a crow bearing gifts
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In China beware of a crow bearing gifts

The Chinese have a superstition about the timing of a crow’s cawing. As the folklore goes, hearing a crow cawing between 3 and 7 a.m. means the hearer will receive gifts; hearing a crow caw between 7 and 11 a.m. means rain and wind; and between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. means quarrels and fights.

Cooking in Egypt? Use a lot of salt
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Cooking in Egypt? Use a lot of salt

Maria Laborde of travelthemiddleeast.com recommends that if you are cooking and you want your meal to taste wonderful you must first throw salt over your shoulder. This old Egyptian tale also suggests gasping at a pot of boiling garlic before you start your cooking.

In England pin bay leaves to your pillow
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In England pin bay leaves to your pillow

D. L. Ashliman’s “Folktexts” says that on the eve of St. Valentine’s Day a woman should pin bay leaves to her pillow, one at each corner and one in the middle. She will then dream of her future love, or the man she will marry.

In France poor baguette etiquette will leave you broke
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In France poor baguette etiquette will leave you broke

Frenchaffair.com says don’t put a baguette or a loaf of bread on a table upside-down. According to legend, this invites famine into the household.

Don’t cross your fingers in Germany
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Don’t cross your fingers in Germany

In America and Britain, crossing your fingers is said to bring good luck. But learnoutlive.com says that in Germany it means you are lying.

The evil eye of Greece
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The evil eye of Greece

A common superstition in Greece is someone cursing you with an evil eye. One way to ward off this evil according to athensguide.com is to wear a blue or turquoise glass charm. Such charms are regularly sold in Greece and are very often pinned on a baby's clothing.

Don‘t sit at the corner of a table in Hungary
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Don‘t sit at the corner of a table in Hungary

A usnews.com article warns that seven years’ bad luck will follow a diner who sits at the corner of a table.

Nail trimming could bring bad luck in India
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Nail trimming could bring bad luck in India

Bad luck will follow if you trim your nail or touch a nail clipper at night or on a Saturday. According to dnaindia.com your life will be happy and full of good luck if you groom them during the daytime.

Respect your blacksmith in Ireland
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Respect your blacksmith in Ireland

According to dazeinfo.com the Irish blacksmith is highly respected because it is believed he has the power to ward off bad spirits and diseases. This is why the Irish place metals on the highest shelves or levels of their home.

Thumb turning, headache curing in Istanbul
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Thumb turning, headache curing in Istanbul

According to travelandleisure.com, a bronze-plated column inside Instanbul’s Hagia Sophia (a church, turned mosque, turned museum) has special healing powers. Visitors rotate their thumbs clockwise in a full circle around the plate hoping for a cure anything from troublesome headaches to gout.

Keep the dead confused in Italy
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Keep the dead confused in Italy

Lifeinitaly.com describes an after-death ritual that keeps a dead person’s spirit from returning. Those carrying the coffin to the cemetery return home by another route. This is thought to confuse the dead.

In Japan don‘t place your pillow to the north
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In Japan don‘t place your pillow to the north

The travel site tsunagujapan.com recommends that if you want to live longer, make sure you are aware of the direction you rest your head. Placing a pillow toward north is a rule when you lay a body during funerals, so it is considered bad luck for the living.

Beware the moth in Mexico
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Beware the moth in Mexico

An old wives tale says that black witch moth flying into your home is a bad omen, according to usnews.com. The moth is bat-shaped, dark in color, nocturnal and pretty big. Female moths can have wingspans of more than six inches.

A New Zealand sailor always takes his pig
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A New Zealand sailor always takes his pig

When sailors began tattooing themselves, a rooster and a pig were popular and often tattooed onto sailors’ feet. According to the New Zealand Maritime Museum, it was believed these animals would prevent the sailors from drowning and show them to safety if the ship should sink.

In the Philippines, never leave your purse on the ground
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In the Philippines, never leave your purse on the ground

Expect bad financial luck, or even going broke if you leave your wallet or purse on the floor. On the opposite of the spectrum, according to The Motley Fool, you should wear clothing with polka dots; it is believed that the circles attract wealth and fortune.

Don’t drop your ring in Romania
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Don’t drop your ring in Romania

If you are standing in front of your bride at your wedding ceremony, make sure your hands are dry from sweat before you reach for your bride’s ring to put on her finger. According to Romanian wedding tradition, if the groom drops his bride's ring, the marriage is doomed.

In Russia, give an odd number of flowers
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In Russia, give an odd number of flowers

According to the Moscow Times, always give an odd number of flowers in a bouquet for a birthday or other celebration or when invited to someone's home. Bouquets with an even numbers of flowers are only for funerals.

Spilling coffee is good luck in Saudi Arabia
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Spilling coffee is good luck in Saudi Arabia

Spilling your coffee in Saudi Arabia is seen as good luck and will be welcomed with laughs and jokes. But if you spill your coffee in western countries in the morning, it might signal that the rest of the day will be bad.

In Spain stay in on Tuesday the 13th
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In Spain stay in on Tuesday the 13th

The word “Martes,” which is “Tuesday” in Spanish, comes from the Roman god of war, Mars. This day could see bloodshed, violence or even death. According to usnews.com, Constantinople supposedly fell on a Tuesday during the Fourth Crusade.

Choose your name wisely in Thailand
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Choose your name wisely in Thailand

New Thai parents must choose names very carefully for their newborns. Many parents, according to dazeinfo.com, consult an astrologer or monk to select a name that will bring the child good fortune, health and happiness.

In the U.K. keep your shoes off the table
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In the U.K. keep your shoes off the table

It is believed there will be a death in your family if you put you new shoes on the table according to bloomsbury-international.com

Always buy two for the newlyweds in Vietnam
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Always buy two for the newlyweds in Vietnam

An articale in offroadvietnam.com says to always give gifts to brides and grooms in pairs. A single item indicates the marriage is not expected to last.

25 Superstitions and Bad Omens from Around the World
Dreamstime

25 Superstitions and Bad Omens from Around the World

From our earliest memories of childhood, we can remember family or friends telling us not to step on the cracks in the sidewalks because it will “break your mother’s back.”

Remember running from black cats because your friend told you if it crossed your path you would have bad luck?

Most of these superstitions become so ingrained in modern societies that we don’t realize their origins. For instance, the idea that walking under a ladder will bring you bad luck came from Egypt 5,000 years ago.

How about the warning that spilling salt is unlucky? That came from the ancient Sumerians. As old as some of these ideas, it’s always amazing how many have survived and have been adapted into the beliefs and habits of modern people.

25 Superstitions and Bad Omens from Around the World