Discover the Top French Famous Superstitions and learn how to be lucky and avoid being unlucky while in France!
I am not very superstitious person but I love to explore and learn more about the superstitions which exist. They come from the past, have been created by the previous generations, they are a part of the tradition, culture and the nation’s spirit. They tell a lot about people and their mentality, we just need to learn to read them well, understand. By discovering the french superstitions, we can get to know the French better, their mentality and lifestyle. While being superstitious, we can try to bring more luck and avoid bad luck … this is, anyways, the idea behind the superstitions. How does it work in reality? I think it depends on the person and how they believe in those superstitions. Are you ready to discover the french superstitions? Have a look at the list of the top french famous superstitions I collected for you! Stay lucky while in France!
- Cat sneezing. If a cat sneezes near a bride on her wedding day, the marriage is certain to be a happy one. So if you have a chance, bring a cat with the allergy to a wedding and guarantee the happiness to a couple…better than a material present, no?
- Dog poo. In France, stepping in the dogs’ poo with the left foot (but not the right one!)brings good luck. Well, if you need a luck, it is worth it, no? But remember, the right foot doesn’t count so don’t make a mistake.
- Eye contact while cheering. In France, you can actually assure the years of a good sex. How? Well, by making eye contact when proposing a toast. Because if you don’t do so during a ‘cheers,’ it will lead to seven years of bad sex!
- Bread upside down. This is extremely important for the French as they eat bread, their famous baguette every day. So all the French pay attention to not putting the bread upside down on a table as it will bring bad luck. This belief dates back to the Middle Ages, when the executioner was a widely respected and feared man who you wouldn’t want to anger. Therefore, the baker would reserve his baguette by placing it upside down to ensure nobody else would take it. No one would be foolish enough to upset a hungry executioner. Over the years, the action became a symbol of bad luck.
- Wearing new clothes not on Friday! In France, it brings bad luck to wear new clothes on a Friday. You’re either going to have to wear it during the week leading up to the event, or save it for a Saturday night. This is the last thing I would suspect from the French who are supposed to be chic and fashionable, yet they limit themselves with the choice.
- Ironing only while wearing a belt. In France, a woman were to iron her husband’s underpants while wearing a belt, otherwise he would suffer severe kidney problems. You might ask yourself, should any woman be ironing her husband’s underpants anyway?
- Offering a knife as a gift. In France, they believe that offering a knife can cut the bonds of friendship. So never give a knife to a friend, give them money to buy one!
- 13 at the dinner table. The French believe that having 13 people around the dinner table is going to bring some ill wind your way. This superstition comes from the Last Supper, where one of the 13 diners – Judas Iscariot – ended up being a traitor.
- Lighting three cigarettes with the same match. This is said to bring bad luck. This superstition has it orgines in World War One when snipers were said to have a better hit rate when smokers took so long holding one match up. The first cigarette alerts the sniper, the second allows him time to take aim, leaving the third smoker dead on their feet.
- Watching out for the salt. To be more precise, do not knock over the salt while sitting at the dinner table. Spilling salt on the table will bring bad luck. There are numerous theories behind this particular superstition, but the most widely believed is that it traces back to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper, where Judas is seen knocking over a pot of salt.
- Lighting candles from other candles. Be careful as this brings bad luck. Firstly, if you light a prayer candle in a church always do it from a match or a lighter and never from another candle. If you do, then your wishes will be transferred to whoever the first candle was lit for. Secondly, when it comes to smoking, never light a cigarette from a candle, because the old wives’ tale says this will result in the death of a sailor, or he will at least lose his job.
- Seeing an owl while pregnant. According to a French superstition, if a woman sees an owl during the nine months when she is pregnant, then she is guaranteed to have a girl.
- Giving flowers. In France, giving chrysanthemums is said to bring bad luck, so avoid buying a bouquet of these flowers, otherwise you will stress out the superstitious French.
- Carrying a cat. In France, carrying cats across water is said to bring very bad luck. Historically, it was believed that this supposed act of kindness would result in the death of a member of the family that the cat belonged to.
- Keeping the horse shoes upside down. In France, it is worth having the horse shoes and hanging them outside the door. This will bring luck in France.
- Watch out for the black cats crossing your path. As this will bring bad fortune coming your way. This superstition is well known and very popular in Poland.
- Wearing a polka dot dress on New Year’s Day. I wonder if this brings luck than why the whole France is not polka dot dressed during New Year’s Day?
- Bringing a table into a new home before the rest of the furniture. Such a small detail but if that helps to bring luck why not? Every little counts.
- Playing with the sailor’s pompom. To be more precise, twiddling the red pompom on top of a sailor’s bonnet will bring you luck! But to get to the sailor’s pompom might be challenging.
- Opening an umbrella in a house. Firstly, it is pointless, because why would you need an umbrella at home? Secondly, according to this superstition, it will bring you bad luck. So, it is totally not worth doing it if you want to secure being happy and lucky when in France.
- Walking under the ladder. Never, when in France, walk under the ladder because it will bring you bad luck!
- 13 unlucky! Well, I refuse to accept. I was born on the 13th and I strongly believe I am a lucky girl!
- Breaking the mirror. This one I know well. And I do pay attention not to break the mirror in case it is true and bring bad luck.
- Pregnant dropping the scissors. The French believe that when a pregnant woman drops the scissors, she is expecting a baby girl.
- Touching the wood. In France…and in Poland as well, we believe that touching the unpainted wood, will warn off the bad luck.
I hope you liked my selection of the top french famous superstitions. I hope you discovered something new about the French and learned how to be lucky when in France thanks to those french superstitions. Did you find your favorite one? Do you know other french superstitions worth mentioning here? I would appreciate learning one more new one. Thanks for sharing in advance!