How superstitious are Russian people?
I would say that the Russian nation is by far the most superstitious nation. There are hundreds of superstitions that exist in Russian culture. From the day you are born, your parents instil into you the importance of believing in superstitions. Some of them make sense and are in fact explainable whilst others are just crazy and stupid. Although I am a Russian from tip to toe, I just ignore these irrational fears. I believe that being superstitious brings you more bad luck.
If you think that your culture is very superstitious and you have some crazy beliefs, please share in the comments below. So here’s 10 most common superstitions Russian people believe.
Seeing a black cat is bad luck
As far as the black cat is concerned, it causes a lot of irrational fear among people.This is one of the bad omens that is well-known across different cultures. Most people completely disregard it and get on with their lives. Russians spit, cross themselves from left to right, turn around and just walk away from the cursed cat.
The belief is that If you see a black cat crossing your path you must not cross its path. Just skirt around. No matter whether you are late for work or in a real haste to get to the destination. Just avoid the cat. Run as far as you can and never let it find you. But if you happened to cross its path – bad luck. You will be unlucky for the rest of the year, especially if it happened on Friday the 13th.
I always feel sorry for the cat since every misfortune is blamed on it. Poor thing doesn’t know why it’s in the dog house all the time.
Even number of flowers in a bouquet
Whether you go to someone’s birthday or a funeral make sure that you’ve counted the number of flowers in the bouquet. Even numbers are for the dead. Odd numbers are for the living. So if you’ve turned up at someone’s birthday with a bouquet of 12 flowers, chuck one flower in the bin before the birthday girl/boy has counted them (and they will do).
Pigeon’s poo on your head is good luck
As strange as it sounds, if a pigeon pooped on you – it’s a good omen. I personally don’t see any luck in that. It’s embarrassing. You have to then take your clothes to the dry cleaner’s and pay money for that.
Looking into a broken mirror
Never look in the broken mirror – bad luck. Unless that’s the only mirror you have in the house and you desperately need to check out your make-up or outfit. Although don’t be surprised if you break a leg on the way to work or an icicle falls off the roof and lands on your head.
Returning home is bad luck
You’ve left the house, remembered that forgot your wallet on the bedside table and have to come back. Is that what happens when you leave for work every morning? Well, according to Russians, you’ve been unlucky for as long as you’ve had your absent-mindedness and forgetfulness
Sitting in silence before departure
You have to sit in silence for a minute before embarking on a long journey. It could be a holiday or a business trip and it will go smoothly and safely if you sit down for a minute. Also the sitting gives you the last chance to think of what you could’ve forgotten to pack in your bag. People who are less forgetful might think about something else or have a vacant mind – just sitting because everyone says so.
Dropping a knife or fork on the floor
If you dropped a fork then a woman will pay you a visit. If you dropped a knife then wait for a man. Don’t feel like having guests around tonight? Pick up the knife or fork that you have dropped and knock three times on any surface. When I was a child I loved having guests around. But I preferred forks to knives. Eavesdropping on mum gossiping with her girlfriends was the best entertainment ever.
Showing off a new born baby
If you’ve just given birth to a beautiful or an ugly baby never show it to anyone. Russians believe that those who look at the baby might put the evil eye on it and bring bad luck.
There are different rules as to when it’s the time to show the baby’s face to people. Some do it after the first month, while others wait for three months and longer.
Sitting at the corner of the table
Russian believe that if you sit at the corner of the table you will never get married. If you have no plans of getting married and want to irritate superstitious Russians then don’t hesitate. Just sit right at that pointy corner. However, since round tables are quite trendy, you might have to think of tying the knot.
Making a wish if you see a falling star
Russians love making wishes whenever such an opportunity emerges. If you see a falling star – make a wish. It’s a very rear thing but it does happen if you are lucky enough. When I was little my grandpa used to take me to school. And once very early in the morning I raised my head and saw a star falling down at a very high speed. It was fantastic, I can’t remember what I wished for though.
If you have two friends with exactly the same names then it’s a great chance to make a wish. Just stand between them, take their hands and wish for something. The only rule is not to tell anyone.