Today we continue with our selection of Russian superstitions started in one of the previous articles.
Wearing clothes inside out
Before, people used to treat clothes with much more care than today. Often they were quite expensive, and only a disorderly person could wear them in an inappropriate way.
Thus, in Russian tradition, the inside-out garment does not promise good luck for a person as other nations believe. Popular Russian saying says that wearing the dress inside out promises you either to be drunk or be beaten. If by chance you spit on the dress, you will suffer slander.
It was also said that if a married woman had her skirt accidentally stuck up and revealing what’s under, it means she will soon give birth.
Black cat running across the road
This superstition is common among many nations. In the distant past in Russia, cats were valued a lot, a hostess would never push one out. If a cat runs throughout the village, it could only mean some misfortune: the death of the owners or a fire. And if a mad animal suddenly threw itself under the feet of a passersby, people used to see in it a harbinger of misfortune.
Over time, the number of stray animals increased, and this prejudice began to relate only to black cats.
Giving a watch as a gift is a bad sign
This superstition came to Europe from China, where giving a watch as a gift is like an invitation to a funeral. In Russia, it has undergone some changes: it is believed that the given watch counts the time of friendship with the person to which it’s given. Although in some places they continue to believe that the given watch measures the time left to live.
To neutralize the effect of this bad sign is easy: it is enough to give back any small coin in exchange for the watch. This way it will be considered that the watch was not given but bought, and the gift will not have any negative impact.
Walking in one shoe you will become an orphan
This superstition says that the one who allows himself to go shod only in one shoe will early become orphan.
Paired things, including shoes, are a symbol of unity, therefore by separating them a person separates those who brought him/her to life, that is his parents. In the best case scenario the family can fall apart through a divorce, but if love still unites the couple, then only death can separate them.
If you dropped a spoon, fork or knife on the floor – wait for guests
What kind of guests and with what depends on a lot of nuances, for example:
If a large tablespoon has fallen on the floor, then an adult woman – your friend or relative will come to your home. If it is a teaspoon, then a young, unmarried young lady, or a child will come to you. This is not a bad sign.
If a fork fell, then the guest (woman) will be unpleasant to you or conceals some bad intentions. It can be a gossip woman, a liar, or simply unkind to you. If a fork fell out of your hands – it means bad luck.
A fallen knife foreshadows the arrival of a man in your house. If the sharp side of the knife has fallen in your direction, a detractor will come, an unpleasant person who does not like you. If the sharp side is turned away from you, then the person is pleasant, treats you well, and will come to you with good intentions.
If you want the guest to come to you, carefully lift the fallen object and put it on the table. Do not wash or wipe it until the guest comes.
And if you do not want to meet anyone, or you know that an unpleasant person is heading towards you, take the fallen object and knock it on the edge of the table three times, saying: “Stay at home!”. This little ritual will save you from uninvited guests.
Do not walk under a ladder leaning against a wall
Some people believe that the ladder which stands on the ground and leans against the wall forms a triangle – a solid and inseparable symbol and even the personification of the Holy Trinity. To go through this triangle means to break the balance and harmony.
The second theory dates back to the Middle Ages. Portable ladders brought people to the idea of the gallows, and it was believed that passing under the stairs a person thereby brings his own death closer.
In addition, there is a very logical everyday explanation of this superstition. What can be more reasonable, than unwillingness to receive an injury from the person working on a ladder?
Do not eat from a knife
It is believed that if you eat from a knife you will become cruel and angry. The knife is one of the first tools with which people could get food and protect their lives. Therefore, it also had a sacred meaning. Such an important tool was endowed with special magical properties and used not only for practical purposes, but also in various rituals. To use a knife for such a prosaic action as eating was considered blasphemy, the spirits could get angry at such obvious disrespect.
In addition, the requirement not to eat from a knife has a more rational explanation – you can simply cut your lips or tongue.
Do not sew on yourself – you will sew your memory in
Another superstition associated with clothing warns that you can not sew clothes right on yourself, because you can sew your memory in. It is not known for certain where this belief is coming from. We could guess that in the old days, when there were no antibiotics or antiseptics, and the needles were large, crooked and uncomfortable, one could get a serious blood infection or tetanus if pricked by a needle.
However, Russian people came up with a way to avoid the trouble here too: in order to protect your memory from sewing, you just need to keep a piece of thread in your mouth.
Breaking a mirror is bad luck
According to one of the versions, the mirror takes some of the energy of people who look at it daily. People are not always in good mood, they can be angry or offended, and when the mirror is broken the negative energy accumulated over the years is released to the outside and trouble begin to happen in the family.
This same superstition led to the ritual of putting the curtains on the mirrors in the house after the death of relatives.
Some people even say that a broken mirror promises a full seven years of unhappiness in the house. In order to avoid seven years of bad luck, it is recommended to take precautions: take one of the mirror fragments to the cemetery or break all the fragments into powder.
The roots of this prejudice comes from the Middle Ages. The first glass mirrors were made in Venice, and they were very expensive. In order to make the servant treat the expensive object with care, the rich owners came up with this: whoever breaks the mirror will be punished.
This, of course, is not the full and comprehensive list of Russian superstitions, but we have tried to tell you about the most common ones. If you heard of some and want to know about it more, drop us a message in the comments and we will cover it in one of the future articles.
And, don’t forget that you can’t live a positive life with a negative mind. Instead of being scared of bad signs, have faith and believe in yourself! Good things happen to positive people, so be happy! 🙂