15 Unusual Love Superstitions Around the World

By: Alicia Drewnicki |

Have you ever considered how your seating position at a table or the amount of roses you receive from a partner could affect your love life? Many of us are superstitious, but usually we worry about things like walking under ladders or breaking mirrors. Wherever you are in the world, it’s guaranteed that the country you visit will have its own unique and sometimes, quite frankly, bizarre beliefs when it comes to love.

Here are 15 unusual love superstitions from around the world…

1) Count Your Roses in Russia
Do you believe that giving a bunch of flowers is a nice gesture no matter how big the bunch is? Think again! Russians are very superstitious – so if you happen to fall in love with a Russian lady, remember this top tip. When it comes to giving flowers, Russians believe that you should always give an odd number of flowers to a loved one. An even number of flowers is always given at funerals, so this is a bad omen that represents death.

2) Avoid Swedish Manholes with the letter ‘A’
In Sweden, pedestrians are very careful about which manholes they step on, due to a very unusual street-related superstition. Swedish manhole covers are marked with one of two letters – an ‘A’ (which represents the Swedish word for sewage – avloppsvatten) or ‘K’ (which represents the Swedish word for fresh water – kallvatten). The Swedes have played on this and exchanged the meanings of the ‘A’ and ‘K’ and believe that ‘K’ represents love (kädrlek) and ‘A’ represents heartbreak (avburther). Many think the fate of their love life is dictated by which manholes they step on, so be careful to only step on the ‘K’s.’

3) India Women Born Under Certain Astrological Combinations Must Marry A Banana Tree
A Manglik is a type of astrological combination where people are born with Saturn and Mars under the 7th house. Manglik women are seen as very unlucky and born cursed – until they marry a tree. Not any tree though, only banana trees or peepal trees are suitable! Once married to the tree, the tree must be cut down to remove the curse, and then the woman can finally marry a man without her marriage being viewed as doomed.

4) Unmarried Women Should Be Wary of Seating Plans in Russia
In Russia, a popular superstition is that if you are an unmarried woman, you should always sit in a middle seat at the table. If you sit in a corner seat, it is believed that you won’t marry for seven years. This superstition goes back to Ancient Russia where poor relatives and old maids would sit in the least preferred spaces on the table – the corner seats.

5) Avoid Brooms if You’re a Single Woman in Haiti
Keeping the house tidy is a good thing – just beware if you’re a single women and someone is sweeping up near you! In Haiti, it is believed that if someone sweeps a broom near your feet and you’re a single woman, no one will ever ‘sweep you off your feet’ and you will stay single forever!

6) Eating Salted Bread Will Help You Find Your Dream Man in Armenia
A very unusual Armenian tradition is that unmarried women should eat a slice of salted bread to celebrate the feast of St Sargis (the patron saint of love). The idea of this salty treat isn’t purely for gastronomic goodness, but instead it is believed that eating the salted bread will lead to a very important dream. The woman will dream about the man she will marry, and this will be symbolised by him ‘saving her’ by providing her with water in the dream.

7) Be Careful of Three or Six Year Age Gaps in China
In China, age gaps can cause many problems. It’s a popular superstition that if the person you marry is three or six years younger or older, you will have bad luck in your relationship. Never has love been such a calculated process!

8) Hidden Initials in Henna Tattoos Bring Good Luck in India
A couple of days before an Indian wedding, the bride takes part in a henna ceremony, where (temporary) henna tattoos are applied to her hands, arms and feet in beautiful patterns. In the middle of the pattern, the groom’s initials are hidden. It is said that if the groom can find them on the wedding night, the couple will have good luck in their marriage. If he fails to find them – it doesn’t mean they will have bad luck, instead, he just has to buy her a gift (a win-win situation for the bride).

9) Coins are Hidden in a Bride’s Shoes in Sweden for Good Luck
To have a prosperous and lucky marriage, Swedes believe it’s all up to the bride’s parents placing important gifts in her footwear. A gold coin from a bride’s mother should be placed in her right shoe and a silver coin from her father in her right shoe just before the wedding.

10) Give a Whale Tooth to Your Father-in-Law in Fiji
Forget engagement rings, in Fiji, if you’re planning to propose to your girlfriend, you should think of your Father-in-law’s gift first. It’s a common custom to present you Father-in-law with a whale tooth (tabua) as a sign of respect and to show you will treat his daughter well.

11) Groom Wedding Door Game in China
On a wedding day in China, it’s a common custom for the groom to fight his way into the bride’s family home by undergoing a series of challenges. The doorway is blocked with a barrage of bridesmaids and friends and he must give out red pockets of money, profess his love, find the bride’s shoes and do a variety of challenges (such as singing and telling jokes) to demonstrate his love and dedication!

12) Spitting on the Bride in Kenya
One of the wedding rituals of the Massai people of Kenya is for the father of the bride to spit on the bride’s head and breasts as a sign of good luck in the marriage. She must then walk away without looking back (otherwise she may turn in to stone).

13) Kidnapping of the Romani Bride and ‘Grabbing’
A tradition which dates back centuries in Romani culture is the kidnapping of the bride. When a man sees a woman he wants to marry, he will kidnap her, (often accompanied by male relatives and friends) and then take her to his home. When they arrive, the man’s female relatives will try and convince her to marry him and if she accepts, they will plan their marriage. Another modern day phenomenon in Romani culture is ‘grabbing’ – where instead of kidnapping the bride, a Romani man will grab a girl he is interested in and try to steal a kiss off her.

14) Whipping a Groom’s Feet in Korea
A very bizarre tradition in Korea involves using canes and fish to whip a groom’s feet the day before the wedding. This may seem a rather harsh and unneccesary ritual, but apparently it is an indicator of character and will reveal positive signs for the bride, such as the fact that the groom won’t disappoint on their wedding night!

15) Bride and Groom Race Dictates the Leader in a Jain Marriage
At Indian Jain weddings, there is a wedding ritual that’s almost like an extreme sport – the bride and groom furiously race around the room after circling a fire. The first person to sit down is the one who will have the upper hand when it comes to the marriage. Ladies – better get those high heels off!

From marrying banana trees to giving Father-in-law a whale tooth – love beliefs around the world never fail to entertain.  What’s the most unusual superstition you’ve ever heard of?

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