Every culture has the weirdest superstitions. The Greek is no different. As superstitions certainly vary from village to village, the general idea is the same. Check these out.
The Evil Eye
This is the most prevelent of all the Greek superstitions. The Evil Eye or “Mati”. It is believed that you can cast the evil eye onto another person with envy.
Symptoms that the evil eye has been cast upon you is dizziness, headaches and yawning.
Spitting for Good Luck
This is one of the most bizarre superstitions. Being spit on is actually good luck. It’s actually more of a FTOO, FTOO, FTOO…which I’m sure you’ve seen on movies.
The spitting wards of evil spirits.
Steal Plants You Want to Root
Plants will only root if they are stolen. No kidding. And they encourage you to steal their stolen plants later. So weird.
Bread is Holy and Has Magic Powers
It is common for grandmothers in villages to make the sign of the cross over a loaf of bread before slicing it. This is because they believe bread is a gift from God and should not be thrown away.
Never Hand Someone A Knife
There is very special etiquette that you must follow around the kitchen, specifically knives. Never hand someone a knife. Instead put in down on the table and they can then pick it up.
It is believed that if you hand someone a knife you are creating bad juju between the two of you and in the near future you will have a fight.
Alternative Wedding Rings
Choking Out A Funeral Home. By De Leon Photography.
Cigarette Girls. Brian Viveros.
Black & White Photography
Sprinkle Salt to Make Someone Leave
Okay so according to Greek Folklore, salt can get rid of someone you want to leave.
All you have to do is sprinkle a little salt behind them. They believe the salt has powers that will make them leave.
Salt, Eggs and Bread. Can’t Go Out At Night.
These three items cannot leave your house after dark. So if someone needs to borrow an egg after dark…tell them “NO!”
It will bring bad luck to you and everyone in your house. In fact, someone that might want to hex your home will come to your house to ask for these items after dark.
They believe that bat bones are very luck and that small bits in your purse or wallets will ward of evil. Although if you kill the bat yourself, then that is actually bad luck. So that means someone else needs to kill the bat, risk the bad luck and you just inherit the bones.
This is a symbol of happy times, fertility and prosperity in folklore. Some people take pomegranates with them when they visit people on New Year’s Eve and smash it on the threshold. This supposedly brings good luck to the household.
A lot of cactus can be found in the home of Greeks. A cactus with its thorny spikes wards of the evil eye of the property.
Crows are considered omens of bad news or death. When anyone hears a crow cawing people say, “Sto Kalo…Sto Kalo…Kala Nea na me Feris, which translates to “go well into the day and bring me good news.”
The Gift of Cologne
It is customary that when you give the gift of cologne that they must give you a coin. If they refuse to give you a coin then your friendship is doomed.
The Greek believe that garlic wards of evil spirits. You will often find braided garlic overhead in shops, restaurants and homes. Garlic keeps away evil spirits, demons, vampires, and the evil eye.
Some people even carry a clove in their pocket.
Money Attracts Money
Greeks believe that having money attracts more money. So never leave your wallet empty. Always add more to it before you spend it all.
Greek Orthodox priests are revered as holy. When you greeted one it is customary to kiss his hand or ring in respect.
Although it is very bad luck to see a priest in the street. Most people whisper “Skorda”, which means garlic, under their breath.