Greek Superstitions: Welcome to the wierd side of things


“Do not shake the tablecloth out during the night ”, “Do not sew the cloth while wearing it, you sew your luck”, “Do not chew a gum during the night, because you chew the bones of the dead”...

These are some of the thousands phrases of prejudice and superstitions that were created by the early man. Guided  by his ignorance and his fears, by the need to explain weather conditions and nature that surrounded him. He had to give answers so as to get along with everyday life and with all the inexplicable events he was experiencing.

Numerous prejudice and superstitions were created by fear of death. At the dead man’s house, mirrors are covered with cloths in order to protect his soul not to be “captured” by the mirror and gettrapped in it. Once you hear that the hearse passing by, you should stand up or else there is the fear of you getting grasped by the dead...  In some areas, when the dead man gets out of the door they break a glass with water, for it is believed that the soul does not pass above the water and, thus, it will never return home.


But the distance between the man and the stars, the man and the moon, intrigued the imagination causing even more beliefs. Based on that fear and its harmful effect, we never count the stars because  rashes will appear on our hands. Despite that,  when you see a falling star, make a wish. It will become true at once.

Numerous prejudices had also a symbolic meaning, helping and defending us from the potential evil. Protection. Just as a small pot with basilic, at the entrance of the house, is said to bring luck and happiness or some hanging bulbs of garlic  protect us from the evil, while in case some oil is spilt from the oil candle or a religious icon falls, great misfortune is expected.


Naturally, most of the prejudices and superstitions are somehow explained… For instance, before the voice of the cuckoo is heard in the morning, one should have already eaten. This was related to hard-working. Being  at work early. Or as well, never to leave the scissors open because we leave open the mouths of our enemies, while in reality an open scissors is a hazard for wounding.

It is impressive that these habits of our ancestors are still alive today through the people after all this years.


Each place, within its specific traditions had faith to its beliefs, and despite how much we try to get them off of us, there are times that without realizing it we act as accordingly. An example is the blue pearl that we hang either at home, or on our bodies to drive away the “eye”. The  ‘’bad eye’’.  The fact that we enter always with the right foot in a new house or shop, so as everything will go well. The slaughter of the cock at the foundations of a house or the pomegranate that we break at the new years eve and the wooden surface that we knock in order to drive away the evil and many more similar occasions that we do not realize and we continue to claim that we do not believe in them.


However, there are people that even today believe in prejudices and superstitions and always make sure not to cut their nails on a Wednesday or Friday and they know that when their right eye blinks, they are going to meet a loved person, while if the left eye blinks then they are going to meet someone they do not like...

One thing is certain, when we believe in something with passion, eventually we create it. This is the power of faith that we all have inside us.


An article by Sotiria Ioannidou