Once you know a little bit about Russian Superstition, you will understand a lot more about Russian people! If you're in a relationship with a Russian woman or man, you can almost guarantee that they are very superstitious, Russian women in particular.
What is a superstition anyway? Well, it is essentially a belief that someone holds that has no reason or basis for it to be true. Usually the belief holds a significant outcome (either positive or negative), and thus explains why so many people follow them. Occasionally, superstitions cause people to act in a rather unusual way, but hey... If it works, why change!
Here are the main Russian superstitions that affect different areas of life...
Returning Home - To return to your home after closing the door and departing (eg. if you have forgotten something) is a bad luck omen. If you must return to pick up something important (like your passport!) you must look in a mirror before you depart the second time. By doing so, your luck will not leave you during your trip.
Broken Mirrors - To look into a broken mirror, or to keep broken mirrors or plates, will bring bad luck. The superstition says that if you look into a broken mirror, you break your inner world, and your soul becomes defenseless against the dark forces.
Black Cats - A black cat signifies evil, and the Russian superstition says it will bring you failure in business. If you see a black cat, you have a couple of options - roll your left shoulder over 3 times; bless yourself with sign of the cross; or wait for somebody else to pass the black cat before you, and take the bad luck with them.
Looking Back - If you are going on a long or dangerous trip, you should not look behind yourself, as it will break your luck and bring bad fortune to your journey.
Scattering Coins - "Money goes to money" according to this superstition, so you will attract lots of fortune if you leave coins scattered throughout your bags, cupboards, and drawers.
Whistling - According to this Russian superstition, if you whistle indoors, you will frighten the guardian angels who protect your home, and as a result you will have money problems.
Singing - Another superstition on the same lines as whistling, this superstition says you must not sing on an empty stomach. It's ok after breakfast for some reason, but before then, avoid singing or you will chase your money away (and maybe your wife too if your singing is really that bad!)
The Flow of Wealth - This Russian superstition says you should always take/receive money with your left hand, but give it with your right hand.
Money in the Evening - Do not count money after dark, and never lend it in the evening time, as it is a sign that you will lose your wealth. The same goes for taking out the rubbish after sunset!
Feet - If you accidentally stand on your lover's foot, he/she must "return the favour", and stand on yours. If not, you will soon have a quarrel.
Towels - A husband and wife should not dry their hands in the same towel at the same time. The superstition says that this will attract a quarrel.
On the way to the Church - When a bride and groom are on their way to the church, they mustn’t look behind themselves. According to this superstition, it means that they are looking back to their previous home and they will not be able to have a happy new life and marriage.
Holding Hands - At the wedding ceremony, a bride should hold her groom by the hand. It signifies that she is forming a closed space between them which no-one will be able to break.
Wedding Rings - Do not take your wedding ring off to show it to someone else, or worse still to let them try it on. The wedding ring is worn on your fourth finger, which is the one under the influence of the sun, and is a sign of our heart's true love. If you take it off to show to another, it means you are giving away your love and happiness to a stranger.
Odd or Even Number - Even numbers of flowers are only given at funerals. Never give an even number of flowers to your wife or girlfriend! Remember "odd is good!".
Yellow Flowers - Never give yellow flowers to your lover, as it implies that an argument will happen and your relationship will end.
(To send flowers to Russia, Ukraine and all CIS countries, we recommend Russian Flora.)
Table Corners - A girl must never sit facing the corner of a table. It signifies that she will not be married for seven years.
Doorways - Never greet, or say good-bye to someone in a doorway. That includes hugs, kisses, shaking hands, or passing/accepting gifts through the doorway. The threshold devides people, and in traditional Russian folklore, the house spirit resides here, so this superstition says that your greetings and gifts will not bring fortune or good luck.
Sneezing - According to this Russian superstition, your sneeze is a sign from your guardian angel. At the moment when you sneeze, you must pay attention to your last thought, as the sign will indicate that this is the truth.
The Christmas Carp - At Christmas time, Russians often cook carp. A common good luck charm for wealth, is to take some scales from the carp, and keep them in your wallet/purse to attract luck and money.
New Purchases - when you buy something you, you must "wash it off". This doesn't mean clean it, rather, you must drink to your new purchase to prevent it from being stolen or damaged, and in order to bring you good service from whatever it is that you bought.
Have fun with these superstitions, and be sure to treat them in good spirits. They are simply meant to bring happiness and good fortune to your life. If you don't believe them, at least allow your Russian partner to partake in a few strange behaviours if it makes your relationship a little rosier. Oh, and remember... Don't come crying to us when you're broke, single, and on a seven-year losing streak! We warned you...!