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Russian Culture: Superstitions

If you don’t want to get in trouble or freak your Russian bride or Russian wife out, keep in mind that Russians are usually superstitious. Save yourself an embarrassment or three, try to remember these things:

1. An even number of flowers is considered to be a misfortune and you bring even number of flowers only on funerals and graves. Guess how many flowers were in the first bouquet of flowers, which my American fiancé at the time got for me? 16. I knew he didn’t want me to be dead and I never considered myself to be superstitious, but getting an even number of flowers felt a bit weird.

2. Speaking too positively about something desirable may jinx it, unless you spit three times over your left shoulder (knocking on wood also works). So you should watch what you say, or learn to spit.

3. If someone spits salt, there will be a fight in the house, so don’t do this. Or if you did it, don’t tell your Russian wife and hide the evidence.

4. If your nose itches, you’ll get drunk. Good excuse, right?

5. If you leave home on a rainy day, the trip will be successful – unless you happen to meet a woman carrying an empty bucket. So if you see a woman with an empty bucket, run away!

6. Never whistle in a house. You will whistle away your money.

7. NEVER celebrate a birthday early. Not sure, why.

8. Before taking a long trip, sit with your family for a minute of two silently, even if you are the only one leaving. It has something to do with having a safe trip I think. I never questioned it, just did it.

9. Spiders bring luck and good news, and you are not supposed to kill them. Well, I personally don’t buy this one. Heck with good news, I always ask my husband to kill the bastards; they freak me out.

10. If you left your house and forgot something, either don’t come back for it at all, or if you absolutely have to, look in the mirror at your own reflection when you come back. I never understood this one either, but always looked in the mirror just in case.

The list goes on. Don’t take everything literally, not every Russian woman is superstitious. A lot of it depends on a person; also, it sometimes depends on which city or part of Russia your woman is from, how it was done in her family and so on. Just don’t think your Russian wife is creepy if she makes you sit on your suitcase before you travel and don’t get her an even number of flowers. Just to be safe.

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