Superstition: good luck and bad luck

According to the definition of the online Duden Dictionary, superstition is “a belief in the effectiveness of supernatural forces in certain people and things that are viewed as erroneous”. These beliefs include sayings, symbols, and rituals that are used in everyday life. The content differs depending on the culture, and even the region. By the tünews INTERNATIONAL’s editors, we have compiled the following examples from Afghanistan, Syria, and Germany:
This custom from Syria is considered a good omen for marriage: before the wedding, the bride sticks a piece of dough at the entrance of her husband’s house. Dough that sticks carries good omens. If it falls, it carries bad omens. While in Afghanistan, the wedding (Nekah) is not organized between two festivals in order to avert bad luck in the marriage.
However, an idiom from Germany says that you can only be lucky either in love or in gambling. For example, if a person loses at cards, people comfort him with the fact that he is still lucky in love.
Moreover, coffee is an important topic for many cultures. According to popular belief in Syria, spilling coffee accidentally interpreted as a good omen.
Also, shards are associated with evil spirits in various cultures: In Syria, breaking an empty cup is considered as warding off evil. If such a thing happens to you, you say the sentence “Evil was broken.” In Germany, too, broken porcelain is considered a lucky charm. Shortly before the wedding, there is often a bachelor party where there is a bang, i.e., porcelain is thrown on the ground with force. This tradition aims to keep evil spirits away from the wedding party, because broken glass and mirrors are considered bad luck.
One of the German editors’ grandmothers always said: “Shoes on the table bring bad luck.” This was really taken into account in the family, e.g., newly bought shoes were not unpacked on the table. However, no one know this custom except them.
In Afghanistan, it is believed that you can’t cut your fingernails and toenails on the same day, and certainly not in the evening. Otherwise, it will bring bad luck.


Verschütteter Kaffee bringt Glück. Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL / Martin Klaus.






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