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10 Common Superstitions From Around the World

Updated on September 5, 2021
Priya Barua profile image

Priya is pursuing her undergrad in Law and Business Administration. She loves translated books, world cinema and French chic.

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"A belief or way of behaving on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck"
"A belief or way of behaving on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck"
"A belief or way of behaving on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck" | Source

To define superstition via Merriam-Webster Dictionary would be, ‘a belief or way of behaving on fear of the unknown and faith in magic or luck’. In simpler terms, to believe what your grandmother said.

Given the mystery and curiosity enveloping superstitions, I have put forward a post which lists some of the common superstitions from around the world.

Do you believe in superstitions?

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1. Cat crossing the road

Some people believe that it is only the ‘black cat’ which brings bad luck while some others insist that any cat (crossing the road) will bring impending doom. Say you are, driving down a road and you see a cat dashing across that road (probably because it saw a mouse), you need to take a step back, and spit on the road.

2. The number 13

You have all probably heard about the unluckiness of the number ‘13’. So what happens to people whose birthday falls on the 13th? Who lives on the 13th floor of the apartment? Who has the number 13 as their house number? I think they live fairly normal lives. So I suppose this is not very well-founded. But the reasons behind this superstition is quite interesting. Check out the link below.

3. Wearing new clothes on Saturday

This is, I believe, more in the Indian context. But yes, it is said that if you wear new clothes on Saturday, you would not only experience bad luck, but chances are, that your brand new clothes would end up getting damaged (in the near future).

4. Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck

This we can thank the Romans for starting it. But some even say that the mirror superstition existed way before the Romans came in and tagged the ‘seven years’ bad luck to it. Seven, they say, is because according to ancient Roman belief, it took seven years for life to renew itself.

5. An itchy palm

An itchy palm is said to signify the incoming of lots of money. Haha-if only this were true because right now my palm is itching so badly that I can’t type straight. If, in case, it does work for me, I’ll be back to let you know.

6. That Pesky Myna Bird


Another superstition that probably started in India where there are so many myna birds that people obviously had to spin out something about their existence. If you see one myna bird, then it said to bring bad, like really bad luck. While two or more is said to bring good luck. Not to worry much because seldom will you see a lone myna bird, and if in case, you do see one, its partner is probably hopping nearby.

7. Garlic keeps the ghost and vampire away

Since we are pretty sure that vampires don’t exist, and not very sure about ghosts, so this superstition, even though is a ‘superstition’, is somewhat soothing. Knowing that all it takes is a garlic to keep the spectres at bay is great, but not so great, if it doesn’t work. And I don’t know whether or not it works.

8. To refuse a kiss under mistletoe

This is good news to some people. Refusing a kiss under mistletoe is said to bring bad luck. And we don’t want bad luck during Christmas, do we? So next time, if someone does refuse to kiss you, wait till Christmas, and then lure him/her under mistletoe and kiss him/her. And if they still refuse, then you know what to say.

Do you believe in 'refusing kiss under mistletoe brings bad luck'?

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9. To open an umbrella inside a house

Yet another mundane thing that we keep doing all the time. Do you know that to open an umbrella inside a house is bad luck? I keep doing it all the time, and so far, I can’t quite attribute my bouts of bad luck to opening an umbrella inside the house.

10. Clothes worn inside out brings good luck

I don’t think anyone ever tried this except William the Conqueror during the Battle of Hastings. He said that this was a good omen. I am not so sure about this except that it would be a fashion faux pas.

© 2016 Priya Barua


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