Friday the 13th is one of the most widely known superstitions in the world. Throughout the Western hemisphere, it is one of the most feared days of the year, with over 17 million people reporting an extreme phobia towards the famous day. Fear not though, throughout the world, there are many other superstitions to help increase your luck on this infamously unlucky day. We have compiled a list of our favorite money superstitions throughout the world.
FIND A PENNY PICK IT UP
Although it may be a bit more difficult in Canada now that we’ve discontinued our pennies, it is said that if you find the coin on the ground and pick it up, the finder will be favored with good fortune. We’ve all heard the famous saying “Find a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck”, but did you know that if your penny is found heads up it doubles your luck! Remember to keep your eye on the ground to find your lucky penny today.
PURSE FENG SHUI
In China, there are many rituals and lore that citizens follow to help them gain more luck, especially when it comes to their money. It is believed that if you put your purse or wallet lower than waist level it is bad feng shui and can be the cause of your money woes. There is an old Chinese proverb you may have heard: “A purse on the floor is money out the door,” so no matter how tired your arm is, keep those purses up!
COINS ON EYES OF THE DECEASED
When a loved one dies it is a very common practice throughout the world to put coins on the eyes of the deceased. It has been practiced for centuries and we can find this superstition throughout the world. The most common reason people take part in this ritual is that it is believed to attribute wealth to them in death. For example, in Greek mythology, it is said that the deceased need the coins to be able to pay Charon, the boatman on the river Styx, for the passage into the underworld.
CASH, NOT CHAMPAGNE FOR NEW YEARS
If you’re looking to make sure you have good fortunes all year long, then you should take part in the Latin tradition of ringing in the New Year with cash in your hand. Having money in your hand when the clock strikes midnight will help ensure economic prosperity for the following year, and if it is money from your own wallet, it’s even luckier.
DON’T GIFT AN EMPTY WALLET
Considering giving a purse or a wallet as a gift? Be sure to slip a $20 bill in there first. In North America, it is considered bad luck to gift a purse or wallet without any money in it. It is believed that putting money into the wallet or purse it will help lure in more funds for the recipient.
MONEY ATTRACTS MONEY
In Greece, they also believe that when gifting a wallet it shouldn’t be empty, and they take it even further from there. According to the Greeks, money attracts money, so emptying your bank account, wallet, or pockets completely is considered very bad luck. For that reason, if you’re hoping for money to find you, be sure to never leave your account completely empty.
Nestled in the Caribbean, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago believe in one of the most unusual money superstitions. The locals believe that if you find a spider, a brown spider to be exact, in your pocket or wallet that it is a sign of more money to come. It is so widely believed the Oxford dictionary even has an entry for “wallet-spider”. However, on the other side of the spectrum, if you find a cricket in your pocket it means you have been cursed with misfortune. Perhaps that’s why Pinocchio had such bad luck.
Are you a person who likes to get their cleaning done at night? If so, you may want to reconsider after reading this. Throughout the Philippines, it is a rare sight to see someone sweeping at night. Local superstition says that if you sweep at night, you are sweeping your luck out the door. So just ignore that little bit of dirt until the morning, or you might be pressing your luck.
RIGHT HAND, RIGHT WAY
Another superstition that comes from the Philippines dictates what hand to use when paying. The belief is that you use your left hand to receive money, and you use your right to pay. Keeping the proper balance will help attract more money, be sure to be mindful of which hand you are using.
FORGET WISHING WELLS, FIND A WISHING TREE
When travelling throughout United Kingdom, you may find yourself wondering why some of the trees look so odd. Local lore encourages you to hammer a coin into the bark of a tree to help increase your luck and grant you your wishes of wealth and good fortune. The rest of the world has wishing wells, but for the United Kingdom it’s all about the wishing trees. It is an especially common tradition in Wales that’s been practiced for centuries, and throughout the country you are likely to find some rather interesting looking trees with some very old coins.
In India there is a widely known superstition involving money that stems from lore involving Lakshmi, the Hindu Goddess of wealth and fortune. Lending money after sunset is believed to be a sure way to lose that money. Almost all financial transactions after sunset are discouraged as it is said to bring misfortune on yourself and your home. The original version of the superstition advises not to exchange salt after midnight as that was a popular form of currency in India.
Throughout Russia and Eastern Europe, whistling in the house is a major faux-pas. Whistling out a tune while in the home is a great way to bring bad luck upon yourself and your wallet. It may seem like a very specific and strange superstition, but it was believed that evil spirits communicated with each other through whistles. If your tune was heard by the spirits, it was an invitation for them to enter your home and wreak havoc on your finances. If you have the urge to break out in song, just remember you may be whistling your money away.
If you’re not a fan of seafood, then this superstition may not be for you. A fish dinner is not very common in the Czech Republic due to their location, but it is a traditional dish for Christmas dinners, and if you keep a fish scale from that dinner you can help increase your luck. Legend has it that if you keep a fish scale in your wallet all year long you will help guarantee your money will not run out. Smells a bit fishy to me…