Romanians are very superstitious people. There are hundreds of superstitions in Romania (if not more), with many of them valid in certain regions of the country only.
From the truly unique Deochi (aka Evil Eye) to superstitions about taking out the trash, raining on your wedding day and much more… Romania’s got plenty of superstitions and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.
The nice thing about the Romanian superstitions that I will share in today’s article is that they’re mostly funny, with some of them outright weird.
And since some of these superstitions involve something bad happening, they also generally have an even funnier way to fix or cancel them.
For example, did you know that if you step on a sewer cap, it will bring you bad luck?
But worry not, you can undo the damage if you immediately jump three times on one leg and whisper “bad luck” after each jump!
This is just one of the many superstitions in Romania that can’t really be explained logically, but which exists.
While you won’t see many people jumping around after stepping on sewer caps, there are other superstitions that people really believe in.
We’re going to talk about them all in today’s article, which will probably turn out to be a very funny one. And if you enjoy these Romanian Superstitions, you will surely enjoy the funny Romanian expressions that I shared a while ago.
ALL Romanian Superstitions You Should Know
Let’s check out some of the funniest and weirdest Romanian superstitions I can think of. Remember: there are probably many more, but the ones below are probably the most common.
1. Some people can give you the “evil eye” (Deochi in Romanian) if they are either envious of you or overly admiring. This Evil Eye can cause headaches or just make you feel weak and unwell.
There are various ways to cure the Evil Eye in Romania. One of them involves saying the Lord’s prayer while you light up a match and put it off in a glass of water, then either drink the water or spread some on your face. Works like a charm, ha!
2. If you break glass in Romania – a plate, a drinking glass or anything – it means that your bad luck “breaks away”.
However, this is only valid if you unintentionally break the glass – so you can’t simply just break a plate anytime you feel like getting rid of a bad luck spell…
3. However, breaking a mirror is a completely different thing. If you are unfortunate enough to break one (willingly or not), prepare for 7 years of bad luck!
4. Not getting dressed properly is also bad. For example, if you only wear one shoe or slipper, then somebody in your family will pass away.
5. On the other hand, if you only wear one sock, you will become an orphan. (Who makes these things up???)
6. If a black cat crosses your way, something bad will happen. But you can easily undo the damage if you walk three steps backward.
7. If your left hand is itching, you will spend some money. But if your right hand is itching, you will receive money.
8. Feet are different – if any of your two feet is itching, it means that you’re going to go on a trip soon.
9. If your nose it itching, though, it means that somebody will beat you up. But worry not, if you say “God Forbid!” (Doamne Fereste!) three times, it will not happen.
10. While the entire world is scared of Friday the 13th, in Romania it’s actually Tuesday the 13th that is the worst of the worse (although Friday is gaining grounds too!).
Even more so, every Tuesday, you should expect three bad things to happen. Oh, my!
11. Regarding the days of the week, make sure you never borrow money on a Monday, because you’ll be spending money the entire week.
12. At the same time, if you spend money on the 1st of the month, expect to have an entire month full of spending!
13. You are not allowed to take out the trash on the 1st of January, because that will bring bad luck.
14. At the same time, if you want to have a good year, you must have a lot of money in your pocket on New Year’s Eve.
15. You’ll also have a good year if the first person that walks in your home when the year begins is a man. (Although in some areas it’s best if a woman is the first person to pass your threshold).
16. If it rains on your wedding day, your marriage will be an amazing one. (It was a rainy on my wedding day in Romania, and I can’t complain).
17. At the same time, if the bride cries during the wedding, that is a good sign – she will be happy during the marriage. Fortunately, tears of joy are accepted.
18. If you happen to find a horseshoe, you’re very lucky and many good things will happen. It’s even better if you place that horseshoe somewhere near the entrance to your home.
19. If you ever wondered why you hiccup, the Romanians have the answer for you: it happens because somebody you know is gossiping about you!
20. Don’t play with knives! This will make your protecting angel to run away from you.
21. It’s not good to play with matches (or fire) either. If you do, prepare to wet the bed over the night!
22. It’s not good to spill salt on the table, either because you will get into a fight with somebody you know. But you can easily fix that by simply taking a pinch of salt and throwing it over your shoulder.
23. Also, when you sit at the table, make sure you don’t sit on the corner as you will never get married.
24. You will also not get married if somebody will brush your feet with a broomstick.
(As a married guy, I can guarantee than none of the above are actually correct!)
25. An important superstition surrounds the flower bouquets (So make sure to keep this in mind if you offer flowers to a Romanian woman!)
You are only supposed to give an uneven number of flowers. Even numbers are for the deceased – and you don’t want her to believe that you’d prefer to see her dead, would you now?
26. If you share your bottle of juice, water or any other beverage with another person, make sure you are the one who takes the last sip otherwise the other person will steal your loved one.
27. At the same time, it’s very good to have the last drops from a bottle (usually of alcohol) in your glass. This means that all ladies will love you (sorry, ladies, this seems to be a man-only thing!)
28. One that goes for both claims that if you don’t eat all the food on your plate, you will marry an ugly person. (Good way to convince the kids to eat all their food, eh?)
29. Make sure you never beat a dog or any other animal if you are pregnant, unless you enjoy the idea of having a very hairy baby.
30. If you bite your tongue, it’s not your fault. It means that somebody just said something bad about you.
31. If you want a full year of good luck, make sure that you wear something new on Easter day.
32. Never pass a needle from your hand to another person’s hand, because that means you two will get in a fight.
33. Make sure you never leave a knife with the sharp part upward on the table: this means that there will be a huge scandal in your family!
34. Never wish “Good luck” to a fisherman. This will actually mean that they will catch nothing. Instead, wish then “Fir intins” (a “straight line”).
35. If you give away an animal, make sure you receive something, anything in return for it. Otherwise, you will have to eat them boiled in your afterlife.
Believe it or not, superstitions are still present in our lives here in Romania and many people consider these law.
It brings me no pleasure to say it – especially since I know that there’s no way they could make sense – but some of the ones listed above are part of my life too.
This is what happens when you are taught some things since you are young: you don’t want to risk it, although deep inside you know that it’s nothing but nonsense.
Plus, we have the habit of making up our own superstitions. I played a lot of basketball in my youth and I am now ashamed to admit how many times I wore the same pair of socks just to keep the winning streaks going…
And now that I look at my list, it seems that no matter what you do, you risk doing something that will bring you bad luck. Hmmm…
If you know any other funny (or not) Romanian superstitions, don’t hesitate to let us all know by sharing a comment below.
And if you want to keep reading about Romania, why not check out my article about the beautiful Bigar Waterfall or read about the stray dog problem in Romania?
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7 thoughts on “Romanian Superstitions List: From Evil Eye to Breaking Glasses & More”
Haha! I loved reading this. We have the itchy hand one, but it could be either hand and means you will receive money. I’m glad you mentioned not breaking things willy-nilly to break away the bad luck. I was already going to break a few things :-).
I need to give the evil eye to quite a few people! 🙂
I always forget which hand has to itch in order to receive money so I just ignore that 🙂 Looking at many of these superstitions shows you how things have evolved – cash is no longer used at all times, so probably they’ll have to adapt this sooner rather than later 🙂
Man, seems like anything you say or do could bring you bad luck–ha, ha!
Isn’t there something about drafts–windows kept shut to prevent drafts which
are somehow bad. Maybe not a cause of bad luck, but maybe a bad cold?
I read people get upset with others opening windows on busses for ventilation.
Me, I like a nice breeze to wick up sweat on a hot, humid day.
Indeed, it seems that you have to be very careful with what you do not to bring bad luck over 🙂
Regarding keeping windows open… that’s definitely a belief here. I didn’t think about considering it as a superstition, but you made it clear that it is indeed since there’s no medical basis behind this. But yes, keeping windows open and drafts will give you a cold, ear ache, tooth ache, headache – it’s just bad, no matter if it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside or 10.
I am not Romanian, but grew up with many of these superstitions in our German-Irish household. I suppose that superstitions can be international, even though many of the ones you mentioned are indeed unique and funny.
Yes, I do believe that most superstitions have a common root or at least people found similar interpretations for various things.
I am Irish and most of these are very familiar. My granny certainly believed them. She was from Wexford, which was always more cosmopolitan than other parts of Ireland because they had (and still have) an opera festival, so it’s possible that some Romanian singers / musicians shared their superstitions. Re not walking on drains: kids used to avoid walking on cracks on the pavements when I was a child.