Superstitions in Turkey

Nazar boncuk against the evil eye and bad thingsSuperstitions are a part of a culture and can be seen all around the world, every culture has them. These believes are mostly based on myth, magic, legends, traditions, or irrational thoughts and stories. The precise origin of most superstitions is unknown, they usually derive from local folklore or religion. Same as around the world, also in Turkey there are many superstitions in daily life. Some of them are considered as good luck, others as bad luck, but each of them are interesting believes collected from various regions around Anatolia. Below you can find a list of common superstitions in Turkey.

These superstitions are believed bringing bad luck or bad things will happen:

  • Number 13
  • Black cat crossing your path
  • Walking under a ladder
  • Opening an umbrella in the house or indoors
  • Broken mirror
  • Looking at mirror at night time
  • Passing a sharp object (knife, scissors, etc) to someone else by hand
  • Shoe or slipper is upside down
  • Cutting nails at night time
  • While fishing, if you count the number of fish you caught, you won't be able to catch as much fish as you used to until that moment
  • If you see a shooting star it means someone is dead
  • You don't marry during the months between two religious holidays
  • Pissing on mosque's wall

Here are some believes bringing good luck or good things will happen:

  • Nazar boncuk
  • Rabbit's foot
  • Horse-shoe
  • Hanging baby's shoe in the car
  • Four-leaf clover
  • If you find a lady bug, put her in your palm and sing to her until she flies away
  • Olive tree branch is for peace
  • White dove is for peace
  • Get out of the bed from the right side
  • Get in the middle of two friends bearing the same name, and make a wish
  • April rains bring life
  • You burry your baby's umbilical cord when it's fallen into the ground inside the premises of a good university, hoping that your kid in the future would study in that university in the future

And here are some other superstitions in Turkey:

  • At the end of a rainbow there is a pot of gold
  • If a boy passes under the rainbow he'll become a girl, if a girl passes under then she'll become a boy
  • If you blow out all of the candles on your birthday cake with the first breath you will get whatever you wish for
  • If your left palm gets itchy you'll spend money, but if you right palm gets itchy then you'll receive money
  • If the bottom of your feet itch, you'll make a trip
  • Cats have nine lives
  • If your neighbor or friend brings you a dish of food, you shouldn't return it empty
  • If during a marriage the bride steps on groom's feet she'll rule in the house, or if the groom steps on bride's feet then he'll rule
  • When someone dies, a pair of his/her shoes or slippers are put in front of the house
  • If you walk on the right-hand side of the boardwalk you'll find money or a wallet full of money
  • Knocking on the wood 3 times will keep the bad evils away or will protect you from bad things
  • Rice symbolizes richness
  • Don't leave food on your plate otherwise it will cry after you
  • You should wash your face every morning because at night all evils walk on our face
  • If you sleep without any blanket on you, you may have nightmares at sleep
  • You don't swim in the sea or sea temperature is still cold for swimming until watermelon shell is in the water
  • If you should go across or walk nearby a cemetery at night, you whistle and sing so the souls won't disturb you
  • If your ear rings, somebody is talking about you
  • Our fate is written on our fore-head
  • If you repeat one thing for 40 times, it would happen