Alo alo! I am back from Curacao and South Beach, Miami! Amazing trips of course, travel tales to start flooding in later this week! For now, I decided to keep the Cultural Tidbits Monday in full force. So…what more fitting than talking about Dutch superstitions today, when just returning from one of the Netherlands Antilles last week!? I wonder if Curacaoans share the same beliefs as their European ancestors…but the deeper analysis to come later on! For now, let’s just list some Dutch superstitions!
* As with many other world superstitions, cats are a central part of Dutch superstitions and beliefs. For instance, seeing a black cat during a journey could signify a bad premonition. Thus, extra caution must be taken for the rest of the trip, as it was probably a fair warning that bad luck would come your way.
* Among other interesting Dutch superstitions, which we also learned is shared with many other nationalities as well: Walking under a ladder = BIG no no! It is bad luck and should be avoided at all costs. One should always walk around a ladder instead.
* Like singing? Limit it to the shower when in your house: Singing at the dinning table means singing to the devil for your supper!
* “A stitch in time saves nine”…
* The evil eye is also taken seriously by the Dutch. While Arabs usually utilize the hamza to guard off evil though, according to Dutch superstitions the same “protective” effect is achieved with black paint. Yes, black. Not such an unlucky color after all!
* “Knock knock” — come in? Nope! If someone’s at your door, always open it for the guest. Why? Because according to Dutch superstitions, if the door blows open instead, you are inviting the devil inside your home!
* Speaking of the devil, if you spill salt, not only should you make sure to throw it over your shoulder, but also that it is your LEFT — we want to throw it over the devil’s face! 😉
* Aaaand a black cat crossed your path…I think we’ve heard those world superstitions before!
* A teenage girl whistles a lot? Uh-oh! According to Dutch superstitions, she is more likely to have a baby out of wedlock (yikes!)
* “Step on a crack, you break your mother’s back”…
* “The more you stir it, the more it stinks” (I’m pretty sure this is global)
* New Years is coming and we all want a strike of good luck, right? Then make sure a dark-haired male is the first person to walk through your front door right after midnight. I doubt many women (and some men) will oppose to this! 😉
* And speaking of New Years: Dutch superstitions say that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you will be doing rest of the year. Now that’s something to plan for!
Previously featured countries:
Hi! I’m from The Netherlands myself and I must add that if you’re not looking at eachother during a toast, you’ll have bad sex for the next seven years. 🙂
HA! thanks for the addition! ;D
While I can’t say that I am entirely free of superstition myself, I always love reading about the beliefs in other cultures! Lovely article! Thank you!
You should definitely check out the rest of the series then, Mary! Several countries featured 🙂