Hey world travelers! You might want to take note of some of these cultural superstitions, because your next vacation could end you up in Cursed-For-Life Land if you take one wrong step, like chewing gum at night or giving a woman a dozen flowers. Here's a list of real superstitions that exist(ed) around the world:
19th Century England: Don't eat lettuce if you want to have children. We choose to read that as "children, don't eat lettuce!" And we approve.
Spain: Instead of kissing on New Year's Eve, eat twelve grapes at midnight. Ummmm how is that going to get us to second base?
Russia: Never give a woman an even number of flowers. The low temps have frozen their sense of appreciation.
Iceland: Don't knit on a doorstep in late winter, it will make winter longer. Fine, we'll just take our knitting inside.
Turkey: Don't chew gum at night because you're chewing the flesh of the dead. Oh sure, we'll just kiss our crush with pizza-breath. That's better than chewing dead people. SARCASM.
Japan: Tuck your thumbs in if you pass a graveyard to protect your parents. Thumbs up if your parents give you a stinky currrrfeewwwww.
Russia: If a bird poops on you, you'll be rich. The more birds, the richer you'll be. You'll also have smooth, creamy skin. That crap is hydrating!
The Netherlands: A broken dish supposedly brings good luck. Said the man who never broke his grandmother's antique dish set.
Mexico: If you carry a rabbit tail in you pocket, you'll have good luck. And if you carry the whole rabbit in there, you'll have… rabies.
Spain: If you wear your dress inside out, you'll have bad luck. You mean worse luck than everyone calling you "whoopsie-poopsie backwards girl?" Because man that sucked.
The UK: It's lucky to cross paths with a black cat. This could get confusing...
East Asia: The number four is unlucky because the number sounds like the word for "death" in Japanese and Mandarin. So that's why we always throw up when we have four slices of cheeseburger pizza crust pizza before swim practice.
Italy: The number 17 causes fear. The number 17 in roman numerals is XVII—an anagram of VIXI, which means “I have lived” in Italian. ("I'm dead.") So thaaaaat's why our entire seventeenth year of life was plagued by awkwardness, clumsiness, and an eternity's worth of embarrassing stories.
China: It's considered bad luck to stick your chopsticks straight up in a V-shape in your food because it looks too much incense sticks burned for the dead. Instead when you're done with dinner, slam your chopsticks down and start grinding them into the ground with the heel of your shoe, and say that the meal made you doubt the goodness of humanity. Then see which action yields a less fortunate outcome for you.
Bolivia: Leaving shoes on the table will lead to poverty. Wonder which up-tight, Type-A Bolivian super mom came up with this one.
Italy: Catching sight of a nun is unlucky. To negate the bad luck, touch iron or the next person you pass, or say "Suora tua!” (Your nun!) This whole thing is null and void if the nun is holding a plate of doughnuts.
Korea: If you write someone's name in red ink, they will die. Die when? Before the next Hunger Games comes out? Because that would be awwwwfulllllll.
Egypt: Give your child an unfortunate name to avoid envy from other kids. For example: call your boy khaysha, which means "rag." Remember seeing all those hieroglyphics for kids named "Cat Butt Stank" in history class?
Egypt: Complimenting a baby's looks attracts the evil eye, so instead say, "Oh, what an ugly kid!" Doesn't little Cat Butt Stank already have low-enough self esteem?
India: Newly married couples play a game in which they dunk their hands in a tub of milk, and try to find a ring. Whoever finds the ring will dominate the other throughout the marriage. And whoever finds the ring also gets to wipe their milky hands all over the other person's face, because hey, we're adults now!
Are you superstitious about anything?