If you know anything about Russian culture, you know that it is very superstitious. Russia is in close proximity to both Asia and Europe, which means it is influenced by Eastern and Western culture. Eastern culture is very superstitious which has manifested in Russian society. They take their superstitions very seriously and they are all generally accepted all over the country. Their vast amount of superstitions plays a big part in their culture. It plays a part in their beliefs and how they conduct their daily lives. If you want to impress a Russian, get to know some of these Russian superstitions.
Give an odd number of flowers
It is customary to bring flowers to almost every occasion in Russia, whether that is a date or just going somewhere for a casual dinner. With that being said, don’t make the mistake of bringing an even number of flowers. This tradition is reserved for funerals only and is perceived as extremely disrespectful. Also, when it comes to flowers, don’t include the color yellow, this often is associated with funerals. If you forget any of these things, a florist will usually give you a warning, but make sure to keep this in mind so that you don’t accidentally offend anyone.
Before you travel, take a minute to sit down
This is one of the most heavily followed of the Russian superstitions. As it goes, before you leave for a journey take some time, just a minute or two, to sit down in silence.
Even if you are not going on the trip, if you are in the house it’s important to respect this moment. It is known to bring good luck to your travels. This time can be used for anything, but we suggest you use it as a time to contemplate anything you could be leaving behind for your trip ahead. Ask a Russian woman about her superstitions!
Putting your empty bottles on the floor
If you are drinking anything, remember to put it on the floor when you are done. This will help you avoid bad luck.
“Legend has it that the practice started when Cossack soldiers drove Napoleon back to France in 1814. The soldiers worked out that Parisian restaurateurs charged customers per empty bottle left on the table rather than per bottle ordered, and so the Cossacks cunningly hid them under the table. When the soldiers returned to Russia, they brought the custom with them.”
Hopefully, you can become as lucky as those soldiers and score a lot of free drinks. If drinking is not your thing, just honor this Russian superstition anyways!
The curse of cold surfaces
There is a Russian superstition that says women should not sit on a cold rock, a cold a bench, or even a cold ground because it will make them infertile. A family is the biggest priority in Russian society, which is why Russian women make such good wives, so they would never want to jeopardize the possibility of having one.
This Russian superstition is aimed towards everyone, but especially Russian women. You can expect that observing this tradition could be pretty difficult due to the cold weather in some places, but it’s a challenge you must be up to.
Sitting at the corner of a table
Whether you are a child, widowed, or single never sit at the corner of a table. Russian superstitions say that you will remain unmarried for seven years. Russian culture is known for women marrying at a young age, so it is important that you follow this rule in order to achieve the family life that you desire.
When someone is in your way always go around, never over
Russian superstitions say that if someone is sitting and you step over them, they will stop growing. You can reverse this by stepping backward and asking them to move out of the way. (If not then they are cursed forever!)
Knock on the table
I’m sure you’ve heard the term “knock on wood”. Well, this Russian term “knock on the table” or it is also known as “knock on your head” is pretty much the same thing.
It is said during times when you say something positive about your future and you want it to come true. In order to not jinx yourself, you “knock on the table” so that it comes true!
By all means, do not whistle indoors
Whistling indoors is supposed to lead to financial problems. Russian superstitions that deal with money are by tradition the most important to follow. There are a couple of theories to this superstition.
- Our ancestors believed that whistling is the language of evil spirits and by whistling we are calling them, and inviting them to our houses.
- Whistling was a magical way to call the wind, which was used by sailors when the weather was too quiet. So you can’t whistle in the house, because the wind will blow everything away, including the money.
- Domovoy (house spirit) that usually protects the house doesn’t like whistling, that’s why he might leave the place and the house will stay unprotected and unhappy.
- It’s just bad behavior. Usually, mothers don’t allow their children to whistle even outside, because it’s considered to be a bit rude, especially when you are trying to call someone by whistling. Mostly just hooligans and bullies do this.
Never celebrate an early birthday
Preventing a jinx is a large part of superstitions and that doesn’t change when it comes to Russian superstitions. This is another one that is thought to be a preventative measure to jinxing someone.
You don’t celebrate your birthday early and you can’t wish someone a happy early birthday because this is seen as bad luck and in turns makes them have a bad day on their birthday. So definitely do not do this one.
A hiccup for a thought
This is one of the cutest of the Russian superstitions. The legend states that if you find yourself with hiccups that means someone is thinking about you.
To figure out who this person is, you start naming people and whoever’s name came up when your hiccups finally stop is the person thinking about you! Start chatting with a Russian woman now and stay on her mind.
New Year’s Eve will bring you luck for the year
New Years is one of the most celebrated holidays for Russians. Russian superstitions say that the way you spend your New Year’s Eve will dictate the way the rest of the year goes for you. This is why Russians are known to party so hard on New Years!