Bizarre superstitions across the world

Do you know where it's unlucky to write in red ink?

Bizarre superstitions from across the world four-leaf clover

Superstitions come in all shapes and sizes and vary wildly across the world.

In some countries, breaking a mirror brings seven years' bad luck whereas in others wearing yellow pants on New Year's Eve is thought to guarantee a prosperous year ahead.

With the help of Lottoland, we've come up with a list of the world's most peculiar superstitions, as detailed below.

See also: Silly laws around the world

Bizarre superstitions from across the world shoes on the table

Don't put shoes on the table in the UK
Old English tradition had families putting miner's shoes on the table if they had died in an accident underground. This is where the superstition originates so don't tempt fate - leave your shoes by the door!

Don't mention Carlos Menem in Argentina
The former president is thought to have created such a disaster in Argentina that even speaking his name is said to bring a curse upon yourself in the South American country.

Bizarre superstitions from across the world upside down bread

Keep your bread the right way up in France
French bakers are said to have refused to bake bread for the king's hangmen and when threatened with execution they relented by serving the hangmen their loaves upside down. Ever since then it has been considered to bring bad luck.

Add sugar first in Brazil
When you should add milk to tea is a longstanding debate in the UK but in South America it's slightly different. It may not be logical, but adding sugar to your coffee cup first is believed to bring prosperity in Brazil.

girl playing with chewing gum

Don't chew gum at night in Turkey
It might help you out with bad breath, but avoid chewing gum at night in Turkey because they believe you might as well be chewing the flesh of the dead.

Be aware of chopstick etiquette in Asia
Standing chopsticks up in bowl of rice is common at funerals in Asia so make sure you don't do it at the dinner table. Passing food between chopsticks is another no-no thanks to the bone fragments of the dead being passed from one chopstick to another at funerals.

Bizarre superstitions across the world red ink Korea

Don't write in red ink in Korea
In Korea, it's unlucky to write a living person's name in red as it's thought to bring death or misfortune. Having said that, recording someone's death in red ink is believed to ward off evil spirits.

Beware of Martes Trece in Spain
Friday 13th is considered unlucky in many places, but the Spanish have a fear of a different day of the week. In Spain, Tuesday 13th (Martes Trece) is thought to be unlucky because the word for Tuesday - Martes - comes from Mars, the god of war.

Bizarre superstitions across the world Macbeth

Don't mention the Scottish play
Many legends surround why actors and patrons shouldn't mention the name of Shakespeare's Scottish play (Macbeth.. shh!) and one even suggests that witches cursed the play for eternity for revealing their secrets. Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble...

Carry a clover in Ireland
Carrying a shamrock in Ireland is believed to ward off evil spirits while a four-leaf clover is thought to offer even more magical protection. The different leaves of the clover symbolise love, luck, faith and hope.

Related articles

The unluckiest flight ever? Friday 13th passengers take 666 to HEL

Britain unexplained: Terrifying unsolved mysteries from around the country

World's creepiest places

World's creepiest places

Superstitions Around The World