Superstitions are folk beliefs, convictions or suspicions that certain behaviors will have good or bad consequences — even though most of us realize, rationally, that there’s no conceivable cause-and-effect relationship involved.
Does a black cat crossing our path really mean bad luck is coming our way? Are we headed for trouble if we sit in the 13th row at the theatre or take an apartment on the 13th floor (if the building even has one)? Probably not. But many of us would say “Why take a chance?”
Some superstitions, like the ones about black cats and the number 13, are widespread and well-known. Others are specific to one particular culture or nation or part of the country. Consider, for instance, these popular superstitions from each state — from lucky pennies to Hawaii rocks.
A great many superstitions attach to something that’s a part of everybody’s daily life: food. In Ireland, these often have to do with not angering the fairies or not invoking evil spirits. In China, they may involve symbolic representations of death, to be avoided at all costs. (Here are 22 Chinese New Year’s don’ts — unless you want a year of bad luck.)
Not all superstitions involve bad things. Eat a grape for every stroke of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve in Spain, for instance, and you’ll prosper all year. Take the last piece of food on a plate in Thailand and you’ll end up with a good-looking mate.
24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of 25 of the strangest food superstitions from around the world, promising both bad and good results.