What is a superstition?
Some believe that a superstition is anything that people believe that is based on myth, magic, or irrational thoughts.
Superstitions are also known as old wives’ tales, legends, and traditions. They may involve animals, graveyards, ghosts, inanimate objects, or even other people.
Knocking on wood is practiced in Russia as in other countries.
Breaking a mirror is considered bad luck in Russia, as is looking at one’s reflection in a broken mirror, but the effect is also more severe than 7 years of bad luck (as in American culture).
On examination day, it is bad luck to make your bed, wear anything new, or cut your fingernails.
If one person accidentally steps on another person’s foot, it is common for the person who was stepped on to lightly step on the foot of the person who stepped first. It is said that they thus avoid a future conflict.
Returning home for forgotten things is a bad omen. It is better to leave it behind, but if returning is necessary, one should look in the mirror before leaving the house again. Otherwise the journey will be bad.
Many Russians consider giving gifts of sharp objects, like knives or scissors, to be taboo. This taboo may be avoided by the donor taking a symbolic payment, for example one Russian ruble, in exchange as if it is a trade, not a gift.
It is often considered taboo to step over people, or parts of their body, who are on the ground. It is often said that it will prevent the person from growing (if they are not fully grown already). It is better to politely ask the person to move or to find a way around them. If one accidentally steps over a person (or people), it is sometimes standard to step backwards over them.
Unmarried people should not sit at the corner of the table. Otherwise they will not marry. This mostly applies to girls, and often only young girls. Sometimes it is said that the affected individual will not marry for 7 years, making it all right for young children to sit there.
A woman with empty water buckets coming towards you is considered a bad omen.
If an eyelash falls out you’ll receive a gift. If someone finds an eyelash on someone he or she will sometimes let the person blow it away and make a wish.
If a cat is washing its face, expect guests soon.
If a black cat crosses your path, it’s bad luck (though not unique to Russian tradition). People will often avoid crossing the place where it crossed, or will at least wait for someone else to cross it first.
If it rains on someone’s wedding, it means they’ll be wealthy.
If someone sneezes while telling something, it means he or she is telling the truth.
Lucky in cards not lucky in love.
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