Russians are very superstitious and are attentive to various omens. I am Russian, and I can confirm this fact. It’s very hard to get rid of prejudices, if you grew up and lived with them for 40 years.
There are a few of my favorite ones:
1. If you break a dish
I really don’t worry if I break a dish, or a glass accidentally. It’s considered good luck. I don’t worry now. But when I was a kid I was not happy breaking a dish. I was afraid of my Mom’s frustration. She was not a bad or cruel woman, just at that time (Soviet Union period) it was very difficult to replace a broken dish. My parents worked full time. We were not rich, but we had enough money. The problem was to buy something. I didn’t understand what was going on in the country (USSR). Factories were running 6 days a week. People made money, but it is still a mystery to me where the products went. So, in the Soviet Union Era, the broken dish was not a good omen for my family.
2. If you drop silverware
If I dropped a fork, or a spoon there is a possibility of a female guest. If I dropped a knife – male guest. I should knock three times on the floor of a dropped item if I don’t want any guests. Until my 18th birthday my family lived in the city suburb. Life was simple. No telephones existed in the houses. The only people who could visit us were women-neighbors. But I am sure that people preferred just to knock 3 times on the floor of a dropped fork or knife. They didn’t like any unexpected guests.
3. Sit down before a journey
When my husband and I are getting ready for a long trip we sit down for a minute before we leave. I say, “Let’s take a seat before the journey”. This is a Russian omen for a safe trip. My family didn’t travel much. But somehow I’ve known this tradition since I was a kid. After I met my husband Daniel, I have an opportunity to use this custom.
4. Return back
Going back to the house is a bad omen. I remember going to work without my cell phone, because I forgot it at home and didn’t want to go back. But I can break the bad omen if I look at myself in mirror when I returned to get the forgotten thing.
5. First thunder
In spring during the first thunder, I do a back tumble. It gives me hope that my back won’t hurt me for a year. I actually don’t know how popular that custom was, but I remember my sister and I being terrified of thunder. Probably our Mom tried to break our fear down by forcing us to tumble through the back. It made us laugh! When I grew up I fell in love with thunderstorms. Thunder doesn’t scare me anymore, but I still like tumbling during the first thunder in Spring. However, living in Massachusetts, it’s difficult to figure out which one is the first one. Sometimes we can get a thunder in January, which is not Spring at all. So, there is a question – when?
You may think that being superstitious is funny. Yes, it’s funny especially to my husband.