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Superstitions and Customary Beliefs From Around the World

Updated on September 1, 2011

Superstitions and beliefs have been with us ever since the dawn of time. Each and every nation and culture is unique and have their own superstitions based in their history and way of life. A superstition can be created due to the result of a major event that affected a community or nation sometime in the past.

As well, someone, some time ago could have started a belief out there when something would go repeatedly and coincidently wrong or even right. As a result, the good or bad that has happened, has happened for a reason deep in their mind.

Some meaning had to be given to that unexplained and incomprehensible circumstance. The beginning of a belief or superstition would, if it made sense become popular and spread around in time by word of mouth and many have lasted till this day.

Out of curiosity I have been collecting short notes here and there on different superstitions and beliefs. As I eventually get more, I´ll be adding them below in the future and I´d like to ask your help if you know anymore!

Is a black cat bad luck?
Is a black cat bad luck?
  • I can start off by the classical one that going about your business with a rabbit’s foot in your pocket will bring you good luck.
  • Never walk underneath a ladder.
  • Saying goodbye to a dear friend when you are over a bridge can result in the two of you never seeing each other again.
  • If you have an itch on the palm of your hand it means that you will be getting some money soon.

  • If you accidentally step on some dog poo, as well, money is on your way.
  • If you find a coin minted with the same year you were born and keep it always in your wallet, it will bring you good luck and fortune.
  • Having an itch on your elbow could mean that pretty soon you could wake up in a bed that is not yours.
  • It´s a bad sign when a black cat crosses your path.
  • If you drop a comb or brush and pick it up, it could bring you bad luck. If someone picks it up for you then good luck can come to that person.

  • Entering your home with your left foot could bring bad luck.
  • Never lay new and unused shoes on top of a table. Bad luck will follow when you use them.
  • If you feel a sudden short chill through your body, it could mean that someone has just walked over your future grave.
  • If you see a falling star, make a wish before it burns out and that wish will come true.
  • There´s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow.

  • If you can see both ends of a rainbow, that will bring you good luck.
  • If you hear a woodpecker then some rain is about to follow.
  • Between two people, good luck and fortune will come to the person that breaks and ends up getting the bigger part of a chickens wishbone.
  • If you mistakenly end up over filling your cup of tea it could mean that you are about to get an uninvited guest.

  • It is bad luck to have 13 people seated at the table. But nothing bad will come to anyone if a cat sits only for a brief moment on somebody’s lap.
  • Giving knives or scissors to anyone as a present could mean that the relationship is about to end. When giving anything that cuts as a present, ask for a coin in return.
  • If all of a sudden one of your ears feels like it´s burning, that´s because somebody is talking not too nicely about you. In this case mention the names of the folks that you think could be talking about you and stop when you feel your ear is not burning anymore. As in getting back at them, bite your left hand pinky. The person that was speaking badly about you will soon bite their own tongue.
  • If you´re a fisherman than eating your own catch, starting by the tail and ending on the head will give you good luck next time you go out fishing.
  • If a sailor finds a piece of coal on the beach then it´s a sign of good luck.
  • Some fishermen carry a small bag with salt in their pocket for good luck.


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    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Jennifer D. never heard that one before with the red spider, but i´ll jot it down. Thanks for the input!

    • Jennifer D. profile image

      Jennifer D. 7 years ago from Canada

      Interesting Hub! It's quite funny how people can be so superstitious, myself included!

      I've heard that it is good luck to find a red spider in your clothing, but to kill a spider will bring years of bad luck.

    • nelson soares profile image

      nelson soares 7 years ago from Sunny Algarve

      Maven101...the umbrella! Been using it all this harsh and rainy winter here...and I forgot about it! I feel so ashamed!!! Didn't know the ones about the hat and the butterfly! Thanks

      By the way, Fialho is a very noble name!

      In Health


    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 7 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Interesting Hub...Most I'm aware of, others were new to me...A couple more: Never open an umbrella inside the house or risk bad luck...In Portugal, according to my grandmother, the superstition is that a hat on a bed foretells a family argument. Rodeo riders see a hat on the bed as a premonition of a rodeo injury or death...A butterfly landing on you is the ultimate in good luck...

      Thanks for sharing these...Larry