Superstition follows us everywhere. We unapologetically cross our fingers (and toes and…well…whatever else we can) when we're in need of a little extra luck—we can't help it.
You may not even have known some of the following even existed—performed either to thwart away bad luck or attract good. While others, perhaps ones you do religiously, may not seem so strange after all.
Whistling while you work may be an issue in Lithuania where it's forbidden to whistle indoors because the noise is believed to summon demons.
A German superstition declares that if you cheers with water you're actually wishing death upon the people you're drinking with. The idea stems from Greek mythology.
According to Japanese superstition, sleeping with your head in this direction is bad luck because that's how the deceased are laid to rest.
Conversely, the same superstition exists in Africa if you sleep with your head to the west.
In Britain, it's considered bad luck because it is supposed to symbolize the death of a loved one. Back in the day, placing someone's shoes on a table was a way to let their family know that they passed away. Nowadays, it's also just bad etiquette.
In Turkey, an itchy right hand means you'll come into some money but an itch on your left means you'll lose money.
This one seems unlucky all around but just go with it. Stepping in dog poop is actually considered good luck in France if you do it with your left foot. It's only bad luck if you step with your right foot.
According to a Russian superstition, bird poop that lands on you or something that belongs to you, will bring you wealth — something to keep in mind the next time you're reading under a tree.
There's an Egyptian superstition that if you see or hear an owl, terrible news is coming. Yet another reason to not hang out in the woods at night.
Also, an Italian superstition says that if an owl ends up in your house, someone in your family will die. But hoo?
If you're in Iceland, keep the knitting inside the house. There's a local superstition that doing your needlework on on your doorstep will keep those temps frigid.
Gifting yellow flowers in Russia means that you're cursing your friend with infidelity.
In Serbia, it's believed to bring good luck if you drip water behind a person. Dumping it on them is flat-out rude no matter where you are, however.
Irish brides have been known to wear bells on their dresses to ward off evil spirits who might try to ruin their marriage — as opposed to relatives who have too many spirits and end up ruining the wedding.
Superstitious women in Rwanda don't eat goat meat over fear that it will cause them to grow facial hair.
There's a Korean superstition that nibbling unshapely food while pregnant means you will end up with an ugly baby.
In Portugal, it's considered bad luck to walk backwards. The common belief is that if you do, you're showing the devil which way you're going.
We're all fairly familiar with this one, but some may not know that the superstition dates back to medieval times. The ladder, back then, symbolized the gallows where people were hanged.
Full moons are commonly associated with chaos (even if you're not convinced werewolves are, or ever were, real). According to Bustle, it's a popular superstition in hospitals.
An old wives' tale states that the best day to go to the hospital is, in fact, Hump Day.
According to The Local, in Italy, if you say the same word as someone in unison, you'll never get married (yikes!). To undo this bad juju, you must immediately touch your nose.
Matthew Hutson, science writer and author of 7 Laws of Magical Thinking, explained to GoodHousekeeping.com that we pay attention when material is dangerous or deadly, claiming, "it's better to recognize a stick as a snake than a snake as a stick." So, it makes sense that you'd remember the cautionary legend: avoid broken mirrors. You wouldn't want seven years of bad luck!
The evil eye is a well-known symbol of bad fortune, a human look believed to cause supernatural harm such as disease, injury or even death, states Live Science. It can be cast on people or even objects like your car or home. There are a number of talismans in many cultures created to ward off this curse (like the popular Hamsa).
This is something else you shouldn't do during your evening supper. Apparently, in the Netherlands, singing your favorite tune means you're singing to the devil for your food.
Another act causing you to be barren in the marriage department? Sitting at the corner of the dinner table, according to Hungarian and Russian superstitions.