Cultural: Bad Luck in Poland

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What brings bad luck in Poland?

So what is thought to be “unlucky” in Poland?

I’m in a Facebook group full of English speakers who live in Poland. Someone there asked for submissions from the people of things they had heard were unlucky/bad luck, or what might bring “good luck”.

Since many, if not most, of the people answering were either Polish or married to a Polish person or had a Polish girlfriend/boyfriend, etc. these are from personal experience or firsthand knowledge, not a random website.

Here is what they came up with: (I cut and pasted - so the wording is theirs.)

  • Black cat appearing while driving

  • Walking underneath a ladder.

  • Waking up and the first person you see is a strange woman (?? - Becky’s comment)

  • If you leave the house and then remember that you forgot something at home, and when you come back and take what you forgot, you must sit and count till 10 before leaving the house again.

  • Seeing a solo nun (or in odd numbers) is unlucky.

  • You can’t gift knives and pearls or shoes and watches.

  • If you give shoes they person will walk away. (Note by Becky: if you give them, they have to give you a token amount such as a few cents or a zloty so it isn’t totally free.)

  • If you give a watch - the watch starts to count time until the relationship inevitable ends.

  • You can’t put your purse on the floor or you will have no money - the money will leave (?? - Becky’s note - I’ve been told to not put my purse on the floor - at school - I was so surprised at their insistence at this as I had set it on the floor beside me.)

  • Wearing black to a wedding is unlucky.

  • Spilling salt;

  • An unmarried girl should not seat facing a corner of a table otherwise she won’t find a husband.

  • When gifting a wallet to a man you must also put money in it otherwise that person will have money troubles

  • Never reach through a doorway to shake hands. Both people need to be on the same side of the doorway (my husband has experienced this multiple times - people refusing to shake hands across a doorway)

  • One girl said, “Also, my mother always used tell me off for closely inspecting my hands. This is supposed to bring death to someone close to you.”

  • A pregnant woman can never be a godmother. I think, if she is, she will lose her baby.

  • When saying a negative comment about someone or yourself spit three times after to ward off the comment coming true.

  • Putting shoes on the table is supposed to be bad luck because that’s where you’re meant to eat.

  • If you wake up stepping with the left foot first you’re set to have a bad day.

  • If the knife fall on the floor - the unexpected guest will be male, and if it was a spoon - the guest will be female.

  • Also you should never take something from hospital because you will come back faster.

  • (Maybe this is why we were able to get my husband’s really nice USB cable that he left in his hospital room after his knee operation - and they still had it! I was so shocked as I am positive in the USA it would have disappeared.)

  • Sitting at the corner of the table means you’ll never get married.

  • If someone steps over you when you’re lying down, you’ll stop growing. They have to step back over you, backwards, to reverse the curse.

  • .A black cat crossing a road is bad luck.

  • A nun in her black caftan is a bad luck.

  • Saying that something bad will happen is bad luck - means it will happen because you said it.

  • When someone says “Good luck” you are not supposed to say “Thank you” because that’s bad luck.

  • If someone doesn’t recognize you, despite they know you, it means you are going to get rich.

  • Receiving gift of elephant figurine with the trunk up... good luck

  • Finding money on the ground, must spit three times "phew-phew-phew" on it... future good luck and more money will appear

  • Every year 6th January, in white chalk write ‘K+M+B’ or ‘C+M+B’ ...meaning three kings or Christ bless this house

  • While driving/walking, the first person to see a stork shouts "stork, stork, stork" three times... good luck

  • Hang a small picture or painting of a Jewish Rabbi near the door of your apartment... money will appear and stay in the house

  • When starting a new business, always start activity on Wednesday or Thursday... good luck

  • When someone gives you their business card never throw it away... bad luck

  • Carry small piece of red ribbon in your wallet or purse... good luck

  • Seeing guy that sweeps chimneys... good luck

  • Keeping a single scale of a carp fish in your wallet for good financial luck

  • Seeing a flying stork will bring you luck!

Wow! People live their lives pretty fearful here, don’t they?

I would say that most people don’t actually believe them, but I really don’t know. I know that my friend who has had cancer follows the one about the purse not being on the floor “religiously” - even in her car because she’s asked me not to put her purse on the floor when I get in the front passenger seat - have to move it to the back seat. We talked about it, but she stays firm in her practice in never putting her purse on the floor or ground.

Anyway…now you know! It’s for smiles today. I hope at least one of these “bad luck” (or good luck) statements made you grin.

(No, I don’t believe any of it! I believe that God is in control of my life, not something such as these things mentioned below - wanted that to be clear although I figure those of you who are long time readers probably understand that about me.)

Have a great day wherever you are reading this!

Be sure to check out what my sis has for you in the store!