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The 6 Weirdest Superstitions the French Have

by Morgane Croissant Nov 23, 2015

1. Doggie doo doo

It’s not hard to understand why this belief came to be so popular – Have you ever walked the streets of any city in France without stepping in shit? If yes, spread the word and François Hollande will gladly pin the Légion d’honneur on your lapel. So here is how it goes: if you step in dog poop with your right foot, you’re doomed to live a life of despair, but if you step in it with your left foot, it will bring you good luck, albeit you’ll still have to clean that turd-covered shoe of yours.

2. Bread manners

Don’t you dare to put down that baguette/loaf upside down on the kitchen table! First it’s awkward because the bread is wobbly. Second, it means that you’ve got a touch of the evil eye in your home. I’ve tried to do it in front of my mom to check if she would correct me and she did every single time before telling me to pay better attention. If you happen to do it and want to erase the curse, you need to draw a cross with your knife on the flat side of the baguette/loaf before cutting it. It’s a bit of a complicated affair, but you sure don’t want to take a chance, do you?

3. Lucky pompom

The red pompom sitting on top of French sailors’ hats (bachi) is said to have incredible powers. To touch it would guarantee a boat-load of good luck. The logistics of touching a sailor’s pompom might be a little tricky, but nothing should get in the way of eternal luck, so go out there and climb a sailor.

4. Umbrellas’ disastrous powers

Opening an umbrella in a house is not only pointless, it will also bring you bad luck. It sure won’t prove lucky to those standing around you since the chances of poking someone in the eye with one of the pointy bits are pretty high.

5. Dinner table

The last supper had some serious influence on French people. Since then they freak out at the thought of having 13 people around the table for fear of the youngest person present to die prematurely. Either you kick one guest out or invite one more, but make sure nobody ends up getting the same treatment as Jesus did a couple of years back.

6. Knives

If you decide to give a knife to a friend, partner, or family member as a present, you take the risk to symbolically cut all the links of friendship and love between you and them. So as not to terminate your relationship with this person, they must, in return for the present, give you a small amount of money, making this a transaction rather than a gift-giving situation. If you’re broke but can’t escape the Christmas frenzy, buy a bunch of knives!

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