Superstitions play a major role in every country's culture, passed down from ancestors down to the current generations that cover various aspects of life. It is an irrational belief that future events are influenced by specific behaviors, without having a similar relationship. Like in any other country, Koreans and Filipinos have a fair share of those superstitions that are still believed by many today.
- Aside from the fact that it's so hard to get the right size, giving shoes on any occasion to a loved one in South Korea is a red flag. Superstition states that gifting your lover with a pair of shoes will make him or her run away, so be careful if you want to keep that person.
- When crows cry, it is believed that bad luck will follow. Since crows are attracted to dead bodies, Koreans associate crows with misfortune.
- Four is an unlucky number! This superstition originally came from China, where the word number “four” sounds similar to the word “death.” Many elevators in South Korea actually use the letter “F” in place of the number “4” to represent the fourth floor, similar to how some American elevators jump from the twelfth to the fourteenth floor, skipping the thirteenth.
- Mirrors are the foundation for many superstitions all around the globe. Koreans avoid putting them directly in front of a door as this will deflect good luck from entering or placing the bed in front of it for the reason that it can be used as portals for ghosts to take your souls away.
- Whistling at night summons spirits. While whistling is often associated with feelings of happiness as many of us know, it is highly discouraged in South Korea at least after the sun goes down. It might sound ridiculous, but n fact, it has long been believed that whistling at night can summon spirits, ghosts, demons, and other unearthly creatures.
- Never give handkerchiefs as gifts. Because handkerchiefs are used to wipe tears. Filipinos, especially young adults, believe that someone who receives a handkerchief as a gift will spend a lot of time crying now or in the near future.
- A black butterfly is a sign that one of your relatives just died. It represents the spirit of the dead person that flies around you and lingers that carries a sad message. The color of the butterfly also has significance. Violet means that someone is about to die. Yellow and other color means that the spirit of the dead loved one is just around you, wanting to be with you or maybe just to guide you.
- The Wall clock and the bed shouldn’t face the door. Our lolo and lolas passed this down to our mama and papa who kept telling us almost like bedtime stories that the home’s wall clock and the bed should not face the door’s entry. Or else, bad spirits or the “kamatayan” will come knocking in and take your souls away.
- Filipinos believe that if you whistle indoors you're doing it for the devil without knowing or whistling up a storm, but if you do it at night you're inviting evil spirits. It may sound funny but it would be best to avoid it.
- Be careful outside if it’s Friday the 13th. For some, it might be just another day of the stressful work week, loads of homework for students, or party with friends a la TGIF. While others think you have to be extra careful to make it to the weekend alive. Still a hot topic in social media, the impact of the Friday the 13th superstition has been felt for centuries. It's a fear of the misfortune associated with bad luck. So as the number 13 is an unlucky number, it is never used as a house number or a number in a story building.