It’s Friday the 13th – the dreaded combination of the day and date which in many cultures is believed to be unlucky. Here is a look at some of the weird superstitions from around the world that are spooky and ridiculous, but interesting nonetheless!
‘Midway’ to heaven (or hell)
A weird Japanese belief has it that if you are in the middle of a group of three posing for a picture, you will ‘get that dreaded call from up there’, soon. In simple words, you will die! The reason? Dates back to those good old days when photography was not such a fad. And the jolly little Japs thought that photography sucked out the soul from the individuals! And the one in the center was more focused on than the other two. Well, there is no need to panic — when you realise you are positioned in the middle, just pull another one into the group to make it a four! Never mind if the one you pulled is the bartender!
Kitty, it does matter if you’re black or white
Ah, not remotely does it look like the ordeals of the black kitty will end. If the superstition of the black cat crossing your path is not enough, here goes another one. In many parts of the world, a black cat walking towards you is supposed to bring you good fortune, and walking away means taking away the good fortune. Oddly enough, stroking the fur of black felines is believed to bring both health and wealth. Well, all we can say is guys, decide once for all if you like the feline friends or not. Isn’t it confusing for the poor cats to be chided for coming in the way or walking away, and yet, stroking them like you love them when you seek good health and wealth? Don’t be like a cat on the fence we say!
Darling, we have another ‘whacky wedding to attend.
The Koreans believe that since ducks mate for a lifetime, it is a sign of good luck for the bride and groom to have these ‘esteemed guests’ as part of their wedding. Now how cool is that – Mr. and Mrs. Duck roaming the venue of the wedding, treated with utmost respect as they are time to time served with the best wedding delicacies. What can we say really? Go ahead, enjoy while it lasts guys, you never know when you will catch the fancy of the local chef concocting a delicious recipe for the next Top Chef competition.
White Rabbit? What white Rabbit?
White rabbits in the United Kingdom are considered carriers of the souls. And saying white rabbit thrice at the beginning of every month is said to bring in good luck. When in Britain, do as the Brits do. But remember, if you haven’t said your ‘White Rabbit’ mantra at home at the beginning of the month, don’t bother to say it in front of your boss when he asks you, ‘Jignesh, who took my files from the table?’ Just nod your head the way we Indians are so famous for.
You are a great guy really – spit, spit, spit!
Albania has set a gold standard in superstitions. It is believed that when you compliment someone on their looks or their character, you ought to spit on the person thrice to ward away the possibility of evil spirits getting attracted. Well, next time an Albanian complements you, run as fast as you can — never mind if you left behind your wallet on the coffee table! Actually, we are joking. Thankfully for the ones being complimented, the spitting is not literal and just an act. Phew, what a relief isn’t it?
That unforgettable hairy kiss at my friend’s wedding…..
Here go the Brits, yet again with their award-worthy superstitions. It is believed that if a woman kisses a dark-skinned man at a wedding, she will soon receive a proposal for marriage! But a word of caution for ladies who go ahead with the act – if a strand of the moustache hair is left behind on the lip of the lady, she is doomed to remain a spinster! Now it’s for you to decide if that is a risk you want to take? We suggest you ladies better check with the man if he has any kind of hair loss problem, before doing the pouncing act!
No luck for a nun? None at all!
In Italy, if you see a nun as you walk by, you got to touch iron. This ensures that your good luck is with you and not transferred! Or, alternatively, say ‘your nun’ to a fellow passerby, to pass on the bad luck to him or her! Poor nuns we say — if leading a chaste life was not enough, they are considered the messiahs of evil in Italy.
We like it dirty
That’s what the people of the Canadians prairies say. And before you get any dirty ideas, they are referring to the plate. Weird superstition has it that if a neighbour has given a plateful of food to you, you got to return the plate dirty and not washed! Washing it supposedly brings bad luck. Wow, imagine ‘eating out of their hands’, and not having to take the pain of washing it before returning. We Indian counterparts dear Canadians, will be far from pleased with that tradition. But being your guest – oh yes, why not!