When I visited the village of Gračanica this spring, my friend provided me with two tourists guides put out by the municipality. These glossy booklets are filled with all kinds of interesting information — history, notes on culture and religion, recipes, etc. They are accompanied by color photos, too.
I pulled the following list of superstitions from one of these booklets. This list is slightly abridged; I included my “favorite” superstitions, or the ones I found most interesting.
- When the left palm itches, you’ll receive money. If the right palm itches, you’ll spend money. (Don’t we have some version of this in the U.S.?)
- If a rabbit crosses a road to a traveler, it means an accident will happen. (Sounds like the old “black cat crossing your path” superstition. I hate that superstition. I love black cats.)
- On Sundays and Wednesdays, you shouldn’t cut your nails. It brings trouble. (Duly noted.)
- When a cat warms its back near the fire, winter will be cold. (This one just seems like common sense to me. “Oh, kitty is cold? I bet that means winter will be cold!” [Also, when is winter ever not cold, at least comparatively?])
- When a rooster crows on the sunrise, weather will be bad. (If this were true, the weather would be bad every day in Kosovo … at least according to my host family’s rooster.)
- When a donkey rolls in mud, it will rain. (If there’s mud, doesn’t that mean it already rained?)
- If you drop a bite while bringing it to your mouth, that means the devil took it. (Yikes.)
- You shouldn’t hold a child by the neck, because it will not grow. (You shouldn’t hold a child by the neck because it’s a mean thing to do.)
- You shouldn’t burn a broom; you’ll get a toothache. (Why would I want to burn my broom?)
- You shouldn’t jump over a coffin, because the dead will rise. (I can’t help but wonder if “coffin jumping” was ever a real problem … )