7 + 2 Most Common Superstitions of Russians in Everyday Life

To look at yourself in the mirror

Unstable climate of central Russia, where one year in the summer you can have severe droughts, and other year all crops get flooded by rain, has left a definite imprint on the character of Russian people and resulted in many superstitions.

Superstitions Related to Being on the Road

1. Before a long journey the people who are leaving, and those who are left behind should sit down to ensure the trip was successful.

2. If you forgot or left something behind and you had to come back, be sure to look at yourself in the mirror to avoid something negative happening to you.

Superstitions Related to Presents

When you give certain gifts or when you receive certain things as gifts, unexpected situations might occur.

1. If you are going to gift any Russian cold steel arms or even ordinary kitchen knives, then you have to ask for a “payment” for this gift. Of course the payment is only symbolic – the smallest coin will do.

2. It is not common to gift handkerchiefs. This is believed to cause tears. You can also “pay” for a gift with a symbolic coin.

3. It is not customary for Russians to gift yellow colored flowers. Yellow color implies separation, a parting of ways.

Russian Drinking Superstitions

Russians are very actively interested in drinking superstitions. And these superstitions are very widespread, because there are usually a lot of people gathering together at a table. Sometimes these superstitions become a cause of party jokes.

1. If at a table during a party there are young people, a girl should never sit at a corner.  According to this superstition, the girl will not get married for 7 years.

2. If someone accidentally put an empty bottle on the table,he will always be asked to take it away;otherwise it might mean that at the next party they will be one guest missing from the group.

2 Ways to Avoid Bad Luck

These are both very effective ways. Try it.

• You have to spit three times over your left shoulder. Of course, you don’t have to actually spit, but pretend like you do.

• Knock on wood. A very effective way. Students, especially very confident ones, often ironically offer in these cases to knock on your “wooden” head.

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To discover Russia with Alexey Gureev

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