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Sweden's top nine spooky superstitions

The Local · 13 Jul 2012, 15:11

Published: 13 Jul 2012 15:11 GMT+02:00

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Sweden, often regarded as a forward thinking and sensible country, is not shy of the odd superstition. At midsummer, for example, girls are told to collect seven separate species of flower to place under their pillow so they can dream of the man they will marry.

However, the superstitions aren't just about good fortune and pillowcase pollen...

Click here for The Local’s List of the top nine superstitions in Sweden

Indeed, Swedes have their own superstitions that are sometimes fiercely respected.

For example, do you know why you might see a Swede spitting three times on the street? Or what they're muttering as they knock on wood?

Story continues below…

With 2012 holding the most Friday the 13ths in one year for the past 30 years, we figured there was no better time to give you the lowdown.

Beware... and good luck!

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The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:54 July 13, 2012 by Opinionfool
Um, maybe, well no, possibly, could be ...

Are those top 9 really Swedish superstitions? Black Cats; well no back in my native England black cats (crossing in front of you as you walk) are considered unlucky. Sneezing; that too is an old English one. Back there they say "bless you". The urban legend is it was to ward off the plague the Black Death, except sneezing isn't one of the symptoms.

Knock on wood, Walking under ladders, Crack in the path. The English have those stupidities too. There is /some/ sense to the walking under ladders one because anyone on the ladder could inadvertently drop something on your head.

Spilling Salt, Umbrella opening in doors. And it's the same with these two. The English follow these stupid superstitions as well. For salt they throw a pinch of the split crystals over the left shoulder supposedly into the eye of the devil. The umbrella on might possibly be another one originating from safety; opening one in doors could endanger someone elses eye --- but that also goes for outside too. These days I'm wary of Rhianna singing Umbrella, brella, ella, ah, ah ah. And so should we all.

Bed bugs are alluded to in the English farewell statement of "don't let the bed bugs bite". Again more a practical one. No one wants to sleep in a bed with bugs in it.

Um, maybe, well no, possibly, could be ... actually no. Superstitions are banal and stupid; the sooner we all Swedes and English or whatever nationality we are or came from get over them the better and simpler will be our lives.
18:26 July 13, 2012 by libertarianism
Superstitions lend themselves to great stories. :) But we shouldn't base laws on them!
20:35 July 13, 2012 by muscle
:) well.. there is universal superstition...oh wait,... well there is this COMMON belief and it holds true for sweden as well.. ... there are no hot chics in IT business!
15:15 July 16, 2012 by rise
"Sweden's" superstitions? Of the nine mentioned I had only heard of three of them, ever.
15:24 July 16, 2012 by itsmeinsweden
Wait, you are listing all the ones that could as well have come from other countries but forget the most genuine swedish one? The one with the keys on the table? That one has brought me some really weird looks amongst my swedish friends. Everyone should be warned about it!
14:28 July 18, 2012 by Mxzf
I'm missing the seven years of bad luck for breaking a mirror.
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