LINGO ROCKET BLOG
LINGO ROCKET BLOG
• Black Cat Crossing the Road
Russian superstitions, depending on their purpose, can bring you good luck or failure. One of the most known and feared Russian superstitions is a black cat crossing the road. It turns out that this prejudiced attitude towards black cats comes from ancient Russia. At that time, pet owners were afraid to let black cats out of the house, as the cats were valued very much and considered family members. If spotted outside, a cat meant misfortune. But over time the number of these stray animals grew larger and larger and this prejudice became very famous. After all, black color is associated with evil spirit.
• Knocking on Wood
Just like in the West, when someone in Russia says something they hope will remain that way (e.g. "I’m quite healthy") they will knock on wood. However, they don’t actually say “knock on wood”. They perform the knocking action and then spit three times over their left shoulder (usually not literally spitting – just making the motion and sound). This is supposed to symbolize spitting on the Devil. Even if they don’t do the spitting part, Russians will still tend to literally knock on something – and in the absence of wood, usually their own heads.
• Spilling Salt Is an Evil Omen
To protect themselves from misfortunes Russians are very careful when it comes to spilling salt. It is believed that if you scatter salt then arguments with people close to you are inevitable. The rationale here is that in ancient Russia salt cost a lot of money and spilling it could lead to a fight.
• Sitting Down Before a Trip
Russian people have a tradition of sitting down somewhere near the door inside their home before going on a trip. Even if just one person is going away, the whole family will sit down – just for a short while, 30 seconds to a minute. This is supposed to ensure a successful trip.
• Hiccups (Yes, even hiccups)
If you have the hiccups, Russians say it means that somebody is thinking about you.
• Stepping on Someone's Foot
If a person accidentally steps on your foot in Russia, it’s quite common for the person stepped on to lightly step onto the other’s foot. This is because an unreturned step means that the two will have a fight in the future. Returning the offense prevents the fight.