February 11, 2016
Here are some more superstitions Russians truly believe:
*If a Russian friend invites you to their house, one of the worst things you can do is start whistling indoors! It's believed that if someone whistles in a house, the host will become bankrupt, that is he will lose all his money.
As we say: Слышишь свист - денег не будет (If you hear whistling, you won`t have money)
*If you give a wallet as a gift, you should put a coin inside the wallet, Russians believe that this will attract other coins and so the new owner of the wallet will be financially lucky!
Russians take black cats very seriously. If a black cat crosses the road in front of you or your car, it is common to turn around and take another route to your destination and have your fingers crossed.
However,cats can bring good luck too. If you move to a new house, bring a cat with you (or just borrow one). It's believed to be lucky if a cat crosses the threshold of a new house first.
There are quite a few superstitions about mirrors.
*We consider breaking a mirror very bad, it means there will be seven years of bad luck. When someone dies in a family, all mirrors in the house
are covered with sheets or curtains until after the funeral. The most common explanation of that is that the soul of the deceased can get lost in the mirror and will stay in the house forever instead of departing.
*If you go out and realize you left something at home, you`d better not go
back there. However, if you have no choice, you should look in the mirror before leaving again, which will stop you from having bad luck.
*Many superstitions have something to do with weddings. If you have a Russian fiancée, don't suggest getting married in May! It's believed that if you get married in May, you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life. "Май" ("May") and the Russian verb "маяться" ("to suffer") sound quite similar. We even have a proverb.
В мае жениться - всю жизнь маяться
V maye zhenit`sya - vsyu zhizn` mayat`sya -
To get married in May is to suffer the rest of your life.
We believe that being too optimistic about the future can make good luck disappear. If you were thoughtless enough to utter something optimistic, you should at least make up for it by knocking on wood or pretending to spit three times over your left shoulder into "the devil that sits there" (you can say тьфу-тьфу (t`foo -t`foo ) чтобы (shtoby) не (ne) сглазить (sglazit`) - Not to speak too soon.
Resources others found helpful
Recommended reading for Years 6 and 7 (ages 9-12)
To help students of Shakespeare understand the power of iambic pentameter.