Welcome to another edition of Cultural Tidbits Monday! After a 5-month hiatus, the World’s Superstitions Series is back. This week, we will learn about the quirky beliefs and traditions stemming from Spanish superstitions. Are the Spaniards guilty as charged? No doubt about it. Their superstitions list is so long, this post is merely an introduction.
Spanish superstitions list
* Let’s start with a Halloween Spanish superstition: Never leave a chimney uncapped, as witches may climb down it (and into your house)!
* Remember how Latinos believe that both Friday and Tuesday the 13th are unlucky days? In Spain, only Tuesday the 13th is avoided like the plague for events or traveling. There’s even a saying that solidifies this belief: Martes 13: ni te cases, ni te embarques (literally meaning “Tuesday 13: Don’t get married nor embark [a ship],” it actually rhymes in Spanish ).
* Boys and girls: Watch your feet when mama is sweeping the floor! According to Spanish superstitions, if broom hits the feet of a single person while sweeping the floor, that person will never get married.
* Never you leave your purse or wallet on the floor — you’ll attract bad luck. Your money will run away (or someone will steal it)!
* Never toast with a glass of water: This is bad luck! In fact, it will get you seven years of bad sex. Bring on the sangria, people.
* In several Spanish households, moms preach to their children the walking barefoot will make them sick (specifically, catch a cold). Thus, it is prohibited to walk without slippers or shoes around the house. This superstition is not exclusive to Spain, by the way. Growing up in Puerto Rico, my mom used to yell at my sister for walking barefoot all the time! As for me, I would always get in trouble due to my constant encounters with the lethal Puerto Rican sereno…
* Never take a shower after dinner. According to Spanish superstitions, you’ll have a heart attack!
* Hear or see a cricket? Rejoice: That’s great luck! And if you kill one? Go to church, for you have committed a sin.
* On New Year Day, right when the clock hits midnight, one must throw a bucket of water out the window for purification and good luck. I love this one, especially because my family does it every year Spanish superstitions and traditions, clearly, are deeply embedded in Puerto Rican culture.
* If a loved one calls you, don’t answer the phone with a “hello” — say bendición or bendiciones (“blessing” or “blessings”) instead. This is another lovely Spanish tradition that was brought to the Caribbean. Back in Puerto RIco though, it is mostly used to greet the elderly or your grandparents (out of respect).
* It is the Spanish belief, as is tradition, to name your child after the name of the Saint to which that day is dedicated. This one is close to my heart, as my grandfather (may he rest in peace) of Canarian descent named all my aunts and mom after the Saints of their birthdays.
That’s all for Spanish superstitions this week! If you would like a particular country featured, just contact me with a short blurb and list of unique beliefs and superstitions. Conversely, if your country has been previously featured (below), comment on that post to add on to the list!