Superstitions In Germany

Yeah there are a lot of pages on MyGermanCity.com that have to do with our good ol’ German history. But, if you’re reading this thinking you’re going to find something out about Dark Ages (that period in history between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Middle Ages) this ain’t it.

This is all about superstitions and Old Wives’ Tales from Germany that have something to do with everything from cleaning to warding off the Devil. And I have to thank D. L. Ashliman for providing us with a great list of Superstitions from Germany.

One disclaimer though, some of these might seem downright sexist or plain odd, but I got a good chuckle out of ‘em… and a few I do myself, without ever understanding why. Until now. ;-)

One is that it’s not good to kill spiders, which I do not do, because spiders eat other bugs—so by killing them, you’re increasing other creepy-crawly critters. (Well, thinking about it, it’s actually not a superstition… it’s a fact; so let’s cancel that one.)

Another states that if a stork builds a nest on your roof (or chimney) it’s an omen for a long, wealthy life.

Uh, can someone coax a stork to do that on my house, please? ;-)

And while people seem to think that just touching a chimney sweep is good luck, Germans know you actually got to shake hands with him for the luck to rub off on you.

One superstition that has to do with your home is to bring bread and salt as a housewarming gift so that the owners will never go hungry. How thoughtful.

Here’s a creepy one… Rainwater from a tombstone removes freckles. Since I don’t have freckles, I haven’t tried it to see if it works. Another creepy one is to wash the clothes of the recently deceased—otherwise they won’t rest in peace.

While some superstitions are meant to bring luck, some are meant to keep bad luck from happening.

Guys, whatever you do, don’t walk between two old women in the morning—it’s supposed to make your whole day be sour with bad luck.

And Ladies, if you’ve given birth in the last six weeks—you’re not to be left alone; because this is when the Devil has the most power over you. Also, you’re not supposed to answer any question a witch might ask you—it’s said she’ll take something from you.

With any good luck, she’ll take away any bad luck you’ve got. ;-)

Bottom line with all those superstitions? For me, if you believe that a certain superstition is true, then it is true for you. And if you don’t believe in them then they’re not true for you.

 

3 Responses to “Superstitions In Germany”

  1. nelson smallenbarger (26 comments) says:

    hello have a great day in germany. if you never been to schmalenberg germany please go and see it. i would like to know more about my grandfather that came from germany but have nobody left to tell me anything . have fun. there a nice church in the town jesus saves. nelson s

  2. Mary (2 comments) says:

    Are there any German superstitions regarding the death of a loved one? For example, in Ireland you should cover all the mirrors with black, stop the clocks, etc. Anything like that in Germany?

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