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13th January 2017

Seven Strange Superstitions from around Europe

It’s Friday the 13th, and you know what that means… or do you? Do any of us, really? All over the world, Friday 13th is considered a terribly unlucky day – so much so that people will even stay home from work and refuse to drive or travel, and restaurants . But it’s not the only superstition out there – here are seven superstitions from around Europe:

Lucky For Some

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13 is actually a LUCKY number in Italy. The number is associated with the ‘Great Goddess’ of Fertility as well as with lunar cycles, so rather than bad fortune the number 13 is all about abundance, prosperity, and good luck when gambling. The only time the number is UNlucky is if you are the thirteenth person to sit at the dinner table. If you are, keep a sharp eye for any Judases in your midst and you should be ok…

Fingers on the Button

When you see a chimney sweep in Poland, it’s the perfect opportunity to make a wish… but ONLY if you hold or rub one of your buttons when you see him, and keep holding it until you see a man wearing glasses. We don’t know the whys and wherefores of this, but any superstition that complicated must have some sort of pay off at the end, right?

Shiver Me Timbers

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Apparently, it’s commonly known in Lithuania that if you use a candle to light a cigarette (or anything else), a sailor dies. This may seem like the perfect opportunity for any of you whose arch nemesis happens to be a sailor, but it doesn’t appear that you have any choice in which sailor perishes, so this may not be the way to exact your revenge.

Spill The Coffee Beans

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This might not go down well with anyone who’s just destroyed their white shirt on the way to work, but apparently, spilling coffee is a sign that money is coming to you. Before you all go punching your mug across the table, research here in the Ryanair offices suggests that purposely spilled coffee does not count, and your manager will probably not be happy.

Inside Out

Putting your clothes on inside out in Hungary is thought by some to be a sign of good luck, but only if you leave the clothing inside out until the time you’d normally undress for bed. It’s also a sign of bad luck to keep a cactus in your house. If any of you reading this have a cactus in your house, it may be worth turning your top inside out to cancel out your bad juju.

The Grapes of Wrath

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In Spain, it’s customary to eat one grape every second for the final twelve seconds of the year. This is thought to bring twelve months good luck. Does this mean that if you drop one, you’ll have a month of bad luck? To be safe, if you do drop one, maybe try and remember which month’s grape it was and just stay in bed…

Nailed it

In Croatia, some think it’s bad luck to cut your nails on a Sunday – in fact it doesn’t bode well to use any sort of clippers or scissors on a Sunday at all. Remember that next time you’re asked to cut the grass on the weekend, when all you want to do is binge on Netflix. You’re welcome.

Dee Murray

Dee Murray

Dee Murray has a very simple travel MO... Go to great places; do awesome stuff; eat delicious food; then come home and write about it all.

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