If you think breaking a mirror or crossing paths with a black cat brings bad luck than wait till you learn about these lesser-known, surprising superstitions. From complimenting a baby to pointing at a rainbow, you’re probably doing some of the bad omen things on our list too and tempting fate without even knowing it.
If it seems like, no matter what you do, bad luck seems to follow you around, then you should probably read on to find out some of the things you do all the time without knowing they could bring you tons of misfortune.
Carrying bananas on a ship
Ahoy matey! Do you know any sailor superstitions? If not, we can tell you that because of the many dangers faced by sailors, there are many superstitions regarding safety and luck on the sea. Many might seem strange today, but hey, you don’t want to mess with fate, do you?
One of the strangest superstitions people believed in around the 1700s, was that carrying bananas on a ship was bad luck. The fact that many ships that were lost or shipwrecked while traveling between Spain and the Caribbean carried bananas on board, was probably one of the reasons. Sailors also avoided having redheads on their ships. For years, women with red hair were considered unlucky having one on board came to mean bad news. Redheads, what do you think about this?
Wishing someone a happy birthday before the day itself
If your birthday falls on a Sunday this year and want to celebrate the entire weekend, doing it in Germany is not the best idea. Celebrating birthdays in Germany is a serious business. According to one of their oldest superstitions, wishing someone a happy birthday before their actual birthday will bring bad luck not only to the birthday boy or girl but also to everyone involved. You don’t want that, do you?
Instead of starting the birthday celebrations at noon, people get together a little before midnight and everyone starts saying happy birthday when the clock strikes midnight. That’s when the actual birthday party begins, as part of a tradition that the Germans call “reinfeiern”.
Changing your bed on a Friday
Tidying and cleaning are good for mental health, according to many specialists. It helps you feel more relaxed and happier. If your cleaning routine includes changing your bed, make sure you don’t do it on a Friday! According to an old folklore belief, if you turn a mattress at the end of the week, you’ll be cursed with nightmares. Others believe Sunday is just as bad.
The takeaway? Replacing your sheets on weekends is a big no-no unless you want to have restless nights for the rest of your life.
Renaming a boat
Sailors are a superstitious group. Another well-known sailor superstition is related to the renaming of a boat/ship. According to an ancient legend, whenever a ship is christened, its name goes into a “Ledger of the Deep” kept by Poseidon himself. If you alter the already existing name you might upset the powerful god and incur bad luck.
So, how can you do that without tempting fate? According to BoatSafe.com, the only way to change the boat’s old name is if you eliminate all the boat’s vestiges, from the bow of the boat to the life jackets. If you disregard any items of the “old” boat and display the new name, you should expect the sea god’s wrath. Are you willing to take this chance?
Tuesday the 13th
Apparently, Friday the 13th is not the only day that can bring bad luck. Western cultures consider Friday the 13th the most cursed day of the calendar but in the Hispanic of Greek cultures, the day when everything is fated to go wrong is Tuesday the 13th.
The reason Tuesday spells trouble is that the Spanish word for Tuesday is “martes”, stemming from Mars the Roman god of war. Quite a troublesome god, according to ancient legends. One thing both superstitions have in common? Number 13’s unlucky connotation.
Complimenting a baby
Babies are cute and adorable, everyone agrees. So, how can it be something wrong if you say this out loud? Well, in Serbia, calling a baby sweet and adorable is like cursing the baby to a lifetime of bad luck. Instead of complimenting the baby, people would rather say he/or she is ugly or not say anything at all. If this saves them from misfortune, who are we to question it?
Giving yellow clothes as a gift
Speaking of Spanish bad-luck superstitions, here’s another one: if you receive saffron-colored clothes, expect some bad luck to come your way. Based on an old Spanish legend, yellow is associated with black magic and even with the Devil, if you ask highly superstitious people. If you believe in certain superstitions, now is not the time to disregard this one.
So, try not to wear yellow altogether but even more so if you’re interviewing for a job or doing something else for which you need the odds in your favor.
Saying “Macbeth” in a theater
The theater world is not unfamiliar with superstitions. One of the theatrical superstitions that has people trembling in fear even today is uttering the name “Macbeth” aloud in a theater, particularly prior to a performance.
According to English folklore, when a new play was a flop, the theater would stop the run and stage a production of the popular play Macbeth instead. If you don’t want to doom a play’s outcome from the very beginning, keep the “M” word to yourself or replace it with the Scottish play and the Bard’s play. Thespians will know what you are talking about.
Flipping over a cooked fish
Did you know that it’s bad luck to flip over a cooked fish? In China, it is a fish flipping fiasco that may turn your life upside down. Flipping over the fish is associated with the motion of a boat capsizing. To avoid bad luck, Chinese people do not turn over the fish after they are done with the top side. Instead, they reach the bottom side with chopsticks.
Pointing at a rainbow
Pointing is rude, we know that. But what about pointing at beautiful things? Well, If you see a beautiful rainbow and just want to share this moment with your friends, whatever you do, don’t point! In certain cultures, such as the Navajo, pointing at a rainbow will only end in bad luck. That’s because rainbows are considered celestial beings or signs sent by such deities and pointing disrespects them.
According to Raymond L. Lee Jr., co-author of The Rainbow Bridge, it’s because a rainbow “has such power. You can’t touch it, [so if you] point at it, you’re messing with the divine — and the divine will make you pay.”
Mixing wine and watermelon
Summer is just around the corner and we’ll all be looking to cool off and be refreshed; and what better drink to help you with that than a nice, cold wine and watermelon beverage? But if you know what’s best for you, you’d better give this beverage the kick. According to an Argentinian tradition, if you put these two ingredients together, you’re tempting fate. Not only should you never let wine and watermelon touch one another, but you also shouldn’t even put them on the same table! It is said they can be lethal (and we’re just not talking about bad stomachache). Consider yourself warned!