Homes Around the World

7 Fascinating Home Superstitions from Around the World

published Aug 15, 2022
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Collage of different superstitions and a woman in front of compostion holding up her finger in a "no" manner. Behind her are legs and feet stepping on a large egg, a key on a table, and a hand holding a broom
Credit: Photos: Shutterstock; Design: Apartment Therapy

The superstition about throwing salt over your shoulder if you spill some is pretty well-known. But do you know the right way to take those Christmas decorations down if it’s after Jan. 6. That date is typically considered the day the wise men arrived with their gifts for baby Jesus. In Irish custom, leaving your own decorations up after Jesus received his is bad luck for the rest of the year.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Only Sweep During the Day

In India, the Hindu goddess Lakshmi comes by for a visit starting at 6 or 7 p.m., and if you sweep around then, you’re encouraging her to either stay out or get swept away with the dust and dirt. 

Don’t Forget to Pick up Your Keys

When you get home from being out in Sweden, you shouldn’t put your keys on the table and leave them there. It’s considered bad luck and dates back to a time when sex workers were common in the country. If one of them left their keys on the table, it meant they were available for clients.

Mind Your Numbers

Numerology factors into many homes in China. The numbers 6, 8, and 9 are considered lucky — so if the floor number, apartment number, address, or price has one of those digits in it, your house will be full of luck. 

Handle Silverware with Care

Be careful when you handle your silverware! Dropping it comes with a ton of superstitions, though they change based on where in the world you are. If you drop a fork or a knife, it means either a man or a woman is coming to visit (depending on the type of silver and where you are). If you drop a spoon, a child is going to come by. Silverware that falls and points to the back door means the person coming by isn’t invited or welcome. 

Hide a Kitchen Witch

No one really knows for sure where the tradition of a kitchen witch came from — it’s either England, Germany, or Scandinavia. But if you want to have good luck in your kitchen with all your cooking and baking, you need one. Kitchen witches are little witch figures or dolls that hide in your cabinet. Superstition says they watch over your hearth. 

Step on an Egg

Eggs hold a number of superstitions. They represent fertility first, but also hope and luck. Because of that, there’s a superstition in Uganda that when you get home from the hospital, you have to step on an egg before doing anything else. It will ensure you stay healthy from there on out.