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September 19, 2010



I don't like black cats either and I fear the evil eye. That's why I always wear a bracelet with blue beads that my grandmother gave me. It turns out that it brings me luck too!


Anastasia-loved this post! Folks here believe in the evil eye too-but I've never heard anyone talk of how to ward it off-like they do in Greece. If a black cat crosses the road in front of you here-it's considered bad luck-and you should make the sign of the cross on your windshield for protection.
As you mentioned the unlucky day here in the US is Friday the 13th.

I'll leave you with another superstition from here-when you enter a house you must leave by the same door you came in or it's bad luck.

Alexia M

It was very interesting to read about these greek superstitions. In the Netherlands if a young girl sits at the corner of the table or if she breaks a mirror, it means that she will not marry for the next seven years. Also if you see a black cat in the street it means bad luck and you must spit three times over your left shoulder to get your luck back. Walking under a ladder also means bad luck or danger. In Dutch there is a saying "Boys who whistle get a girl whith fortune" - so it's considered lucky if a boy whistles in the street or in the house. But if a girl whistles it's not good! Thta's ok with me cos I dont know how to whistle anyway!! lol!

Lakis Ioannou

In my mother's village in Cyprus, there are many olive trees. The olive leaf represents another popular superstition. They use it instead of blue beads to ward off the evil eye. What they do is burn olive leaves in a small clay pot which we call kapnistiri (smoke pot) Nothing to do with smoking!!! When the olive leaves burn in the pot, a member of the family waves the smoke towards you to protect you from the evil eye. You must make the sign of the cross three times to ward off the malice of the evil eye.

Also on New Years Eve, all the family gathers round the fireplace. The unmarried girls of the family throw olive leaves into the fire in honour of Saint Basil (our Saint Nicholas- Santa Claus) and before they throw them, they say: " Saint Basil, please show me if ... X loves me." If the leaf burns with a spaark, it means that the boy the girl has named loves her.

Phivos Nicolaides

This is so interesting post. I thought that Greeks do not have any kind of superstition!! :):)


Well, I am Greek and generally very superstious!!! :-) Here's why: On a Tuesday 13, I lost my job at the airport. Two years later, on a Tuesday 13 again I broke up with my boyfriend. While I was on a short holiday this summer, I saw a crow and the next day my mother called me to say that grandpa had died the previous day!!!

Another greek superstition has to do with breaking plates or glasses or accidentally spilling wine. We say then "youri" meaning good luck. In the past, in Greece people broke plates at greek night clubs. That was a sign of having a great time and of good luck. But nowadays breaking plates is not allowed in most greek night clubs. Instead of plates, people throw paper napkins all over the place or flowers all over a favorite singer or a friend who sings or dances well.


I absolutely loved this post! I knew about the sneeze but not the rest -- fascinating stuff!


what a great post, Anastasia! Well, in the UK, black cats bring luck! They're also featured on many good luck greeting cards and birthday cards. And, I have a black cat with green eyes for a pet. I'll email you a photo. Catch falling leaves in autumn and you will have good luck. Putting money in the pocket of new clothes also brings good luck.

Seven years bad luck to break a mirror. It's unlucky to see one magpie but lucky to see two or more. It's unlucky to open an umbrella indoors or walk underneath a ladder! In Yorkshire, housewives used to believe that bread would not rise if there was a corpse in the vicinity, and to cut off both ends of the loaf would make the Devil fly over the house!

One ancient British superstition holds that if a child rides on a bear's back it will be protected from whooping-cough. (Bears used to roam Britain but now they are not seen on our shores)

I'm not really superstitious but I'd rather not break a mirror or walk under a ladder!

Lisa A

Buonasera Anastasia. In Italy also the evil eye is a terrible superstition. We dont put blue beads or...smoke but we make a corno sign round our neck to exorcize the maloccio. For the Italians, birds in a house bring bad luck just like wearing purple which is a color for the dead. Black is ok, no bad luck. It is very lucky color and very chic to wear. If we see a suaora (I forget the English word!), you know those religion ladies who wear special clothes like priests, also mean bad luck and we say : suora tua to the next who comes so the curse or bad luck go to that person.

Number 17 is our lucky number but good luck will come to you if you hear a cat sneeze, or as we say in Italian, Sentire un gatto che starnutisce è di buon auspicio.


The Superstitions are the largest of the mountain ranges surrounding Phoenix, USA, visible from many miles away along the straight roads through the suburbs east of Mesa. They rise steeply above the flat desert to a high point of 5,024 feet, and are characterized by sheer-sided, jagged, volcanic peaks and ridges separated by boulder-filled canyons, all covered by saguaro at low elevations, with other cacti and bushes higher up. Trees are found only at scattered locations, at springs or beside streamways. Early settlers named the hills on account of the many myths and stories told by the local Pima/Apache Indians about the mountains, and tales such as the fabled Lost Dutchman gold mine.

In Arizona to have a wish come true using a wishbone, two people make a wish, then take hold of each end of the bone and pull it until it separates. The person with the longer end gets his or her wish. Toads cause warts and a cat has nine lives! Hugs, Mark


Generally, I am not superstitious but I fear the evil eye and if I break a mirror, I feel a bit worried that something bad will happen.


I also sometimes fear the evil eye but I don't wear any blue beads to ward it off! I'd rather change my mind!


Thank you so much for sharing some of the superstitions in your area.


In Cyprus if you see a black cat together with a priest, it means something terrible will happen to you!


Oh yes! I've forgotten our kapnistiri to ward off the evil eye! My grandmother used it all the time! Thanks for mentioning it, Laki mou.


So did I, Phivos, but I guess that we all have at least one superstition!


Same here. Breaking plates is not allowed any more. But at home, I accidentally break quite a few...including glasses! :-)


I suffer from hay fever and am allergic to pollen. So in spring, I sneeze a lot! Just imagine how many people think of me then! I shouldn't hate spring! :-)


Same here - it's unlucky to open an umbrella indoors or break a mirror.


Thank you, Lisa, for sharing some Italian superstitions! A suora must be a nun , I think. In Cyprus it is unlucky to see a priest early in the morning and you must touch something red to ward off the bad luck.


what a lovely way you have in Arizona to make a wish!


I also feel nervous when I break a mirror.

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