13 superstitions for Friday 13th
13 Apr 2018 - 1:24 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2018 - 4:31 PM

It's Friday the 13th (spooooooky), so we asked around and these are some of the superstitions commonly heard of in Asian cultures. You might have heard of them growing up or from being immersed in an Asian culture. 

1. Sleeping with a fan on will kill you

Not literally, but it's a superstition in Korean culture that it can lead to death.

2. In China, the number 8 is lucky

The pronunciation of the number 8 is similar to that of the word 'prosperity', thus the number 8 is considered to be a lucky number. People try to get the number 8 on their license plates or houses, as a sign of luck.

3. However the number 4 is unlucky in Chinese culture

Another Chinese superstition based on pronunciation, the number 4 sounds like the word for 'death', hence an unlucky number.

4. Clipping toenails at night brings ghosts

This is another popular Chinese superstition, that if you clip your nails in the evening, you will be inviting ghosts to that place. In Japanese superstition it is believed that the person won't be with their parents at their deathbed, as the word for 'death' and 'night' have similar pronunciations in Japanese.

5. Don't wash your hair on the last or first day of the year

Apparently doing so will wash away your good fortune for the year too. It's also believed in Chinese culture that you shouldn't clean on New Year's Day, as you're sweeping away the year's good luck.

6. Don't say a newborn is cute

In some parts of Vietnam and Thailand there's a superstition that calling a baby cute will invite evil spirits to come and steal the newborn away.

7. No whistling at night

There's a Thai superstition that whistling at night brings bad luck. The origins of it are unknown but it's similar to the western idea of not walking under ladders for fear of bad luck.

8. Avoid photos of three

In some parts of South-East Asia it's considered bad luck to be the middle person in a group of three. The superstition is that the centre person will be the first to die from the group.

9. Don't sleep with your head pointed north

In Japanese culture, it's superstitious to sleep with your head to the north. The belief is that those who do will live a short life, as it's the way a body is laid out at a funeral). Same goes for sleeping with your head pointed at the door.

10. Don't shake your leg

Some Asian cultures believe that if you shake your legs you lose your good luck.

11. Writing in red brings bad omens

In Korean superstition, it's thought that writing names in red bring bad omens, including failture and death. The belief originates from China as red calligraphy was used for execution decrees.

12. Dreaming of pigs is a good sign

In both Chinese and Korean superstition it's considered good luck to dream of pigs as they're a symbol for fertility and wealth. 

13. A crow's cry is a sign of bad luck

In some Asian cultures the crow is a bad omen, and hearing its cry means that bad luck will follow. 

What other Asian superstitions have you heard of?


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