Pushing your luck
Even the not-so-superstitious know that breaking a mirror and walking under a ladder can bring bad luck – and here are the origins of why so many of us believe those things. But there are plenty of other, lesser-known things that also have a reputation for causing misfortune. Not to freak you out, but you’re probably doing some of them all the time.
Carrying bananas on a ship
Sailors have always been a superstitious bunch. And “bunches,” indeed, were actually one of the things that they considered bad luck to have around on the high seas. In the 1700s, many ships that were lost or shipwrecked while travelling between Spain and the Caribbean happened to be carrying bananas at the time, so having one on board came to mean bad news. Whistling on a ship, too, was also said to bring bad luck, because letting loose a whistle was supposed to present a “challenge” to the wind. The wind would supposedly respond in kind by sending a storm.
Wishing someone a happy birthday before their actual birthday
Want to make an entire weekend of your birthday that falls on a Sunday? In that case, you might not want to celebrate in Germany. That’s because many Germans believe that wishing someone a happy birthday before the day itself will cause misfortune to befall everyone involved. Instead, they follow a tradition called “reinfeiern,” where they get together the night before someone’s birthday and begin celebrating exactly when the clock strikes midnight. Saying “happy birthday” so much as a minute sooner is a major no-no.