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Top 10 German superstitions
Photo: DPA

Top 10 German superstitions

Published: 13 Jul 2012 10:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 13 Jul 2012 10:12 GMT+02:00

Do you pester chimney sweeps and bury dogs under doorsteps? No, you're not having a nervous breakdown, you're just a very superstitious German. This special Friday 13th Local List collects some of Germany's best old wives' tales.

Of course, only those who don't live here think of Germans as calm, rational people. Anyone with a passing acquaintance with the fascinating culture knows that the German psyche is a surreal labyrinth of myths, folk-tales, half-remembered statistics brought up at dinner parties, and blind faith in homeopathy.

So what better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than to list the more absurd beliefs that Germans have dreamt up to make their lives a bit more inconvenient?

We've dug up superstitions both medieval and modern, though we've tried to eschew simple hypochondriac ideas. Thinking burnt toast and candles give you cancer is not superstitious - it's just deranged.

Click here for the best German superstitions!

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Your comments about this article

20:11 July 13, 2012 by Lisa Rusbridge
Not sure if a lot of people read these click-thru lists, but for what it's worth I like them. There's something rather Seinfeld-ian? Seinfeld-esqe? (not sure which) about the humor. It's dry humor, but at the same time blunt. Very funny stuff.

Traditions like this usually have some sort of cultural history almost based in folklore which is fun trivia to know. I've heard of the one regarding the penny in the purse and the bread and salt. There's a scene in the famous 1940s American movie "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart where they bring a housewarming gift of wine, bread and salt. The wine represents prosperity and joy. The bread represents that the house will never know hunger. The salt represents that life will always have flavor. Lovely film, not sure if it's as well recognized overseas since it's so American in it's theme of the American Dream.
09:23 July 14, 2012 by Dizz
Cute. We have the same one about never gifting an empty purse. Everyone throwing their socks in my face should I ever get married here though is yuck!
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