Gaming and superstitions go hand in hand, with no shortage of the weird and wonderful things people do when it comes to getting luck on their side. Whether it’s a pregame ritual for a football fan hoping to help their team win, nailing a horseshoe to a doorway or carrying a rabbit’s foot wherever we go, we’ve all tried to sway Lady Luck at one time or another. Even professional athletes get in on it — basketball legend Michael Jordan allegedly wore the same pair of shorts for every single game.
Good luck superstitions tend to make little sense, but we follow them all the same. Perhaps we act out these bizarre superstitions because luck is fickle and can turn on you at a moment’s notice, so we try to sway it to our side in any way we can. However, there are other ways to increase your fortune and have better odds, especially when it comes to the card table or competitive sport, yet we still tend to give our superstitions an almost religious reverence.
That’s likely due to a lot of the superstitions we follow passing down through the generations and having complex historical origins. Did you know that carrying a rabbit’s foot related to an ancient Celtic-pagan custom? They believed that because rabbits lived underground, they were closer to the gods and could communicate with them. So, carrying a rabbit’s foot was a symbol of being close to the gods.
Unsurprisingly, people have unusual superstitions all over the world, and because these superstitions have developed in the culture they come from, they often seem normal to the native folks but are plain bizarre to the outsiders. Here, we’ll look at a few of the weirdest superstitions people follow from all over the world.
Ireland – Kissing the Blarney Stone
There is a famous stone built into a medieval castle near Cork that locals and visitors from all over the world come to kiss. It’s a weird enough practice when you think about it, but visitors to the castle must walk all the way up to the top, lean back while holding onto a railing and kiss a stone kissed by thousands of other people. It makes you wonder if they ever wash the stone.
Denmark – Throw Broken Dishes at Houses
Whenever someone accidentally breaks a plate or bowl in Denmark, they don’t throw them out like everywhere else. They collect them throughout the year, and on New Year’s Eve, they’ll take all the broken cutlery and throw them at the houses of friends and family to wise luck upon the household throughout the year.
Russia – Getting Pooped on By a Bird
Have you ever had a bad day? You know, you’re late for work, the car won’t start, and then to top it all off, a bird poops on your head? While this may seem like rotten luck, in Russia, they welcome it as a sign of good luck. It’s considered a good financial omen and that you’ll come into money soon. Maybe they tell each-other that to soothe the annoyance of having a bird poop on your head.
Thailand – Wearing a Fake Penis
It’s a real thing and thought of as a certain way to bring you luck at the card table or throughout the day. Some believe that wearing the palad khik or surrogate penis made from wood or bone will bring the wearer good fortune and prevent bad luck from falling upon them. Some people wear two: one for luck in love, and the other for luck at gambling.
This one is so widely held that it’s hard to attribute it to a specific place or country, but it’s something that people believe in and is usually muttered by disgruntled experts at a sport or a game of chance when a newcomer outperforms or beats them. We’ve all had the experience of being new at something but have a good run, all the same, only to have our luck fail even when we become more experienced. Scientists attribute this to a phenomenon called “confirmation bias,” which means that you’re more likely to remember the times you were lucky and finished in the first place than the times you finished last.
So, that’s a few of the weirdest superstitions from all over the world. These odd practices are thought to sway luck to our side and help us find fortune in life, gaming and sports, and they often have deep historical roots in their country of origin that explain why people follow them. Whether you may be from one of the countries mentioned above or not, and the practices might seem normal to you, but to outsiders, they usually only seem, well, weird.