Carrying a 4-leaf cloverreveals fairies hiding behind flowers, allowing one to prevent the mischief they could do. Some species of clover all have four leaves, but those have no power. The powerful 4-leaf clover is a mutant of the 3-leaf clover, occurring approximately 1 in 10,000. To know you’ve found a true four-leaf clover, look for one leaflet that’s smaller than the others. If all four leaflets are the same size, you are probably looking at the wrong variety of clover.
Lucky rabbit foot: The original legend says that the left hind foot of a rabbit that is captured in a cemetery at night can ward off evil magic. These amulets definitely do not ward off bad luck for the rabbit!
Romans were very superstitious, and a lot of that superstition centered on reproductive organs.
According to the ancient writer Marcus Terentius Varro, Roman boys were even known to wear fascinus (winged penis) amulets around their necks to prevent harm from coming to them.
It was once thought that giving someone an evil eye (what might be called a stink eye these days) could cause all manner of bad, from mental illness to physical ailments.
People used evil eye talismans, or nazur (from Arabic نَظَر), to ward off the bad luck caused by these curses. Popular and beautiful evil eye talismans from Turkey use glass beads or discs with alternating blue and white circles. These are still widely in use in Turkey.
Some cultures use a hand with an eye in its center for protection.
Others use blue or green beads.
Attracting Good Luck
The Chinese word for bat means “good luck.” Bats are seen as a sign of a long and healthy life. Some Chinese wear bat amulets to bring good fortune. Bats on greeting cards mean the sender is wising the recipient wellness and success.
Bears have been revered by both Native American and Siberian cultures. They are seen as good luck because a single bear carcass can feed a family/group for a long time. They were thought to have supernatural powers of good, based on being able to hibernate through the winter. Siberians believed that the bear was an incarnation of their god.
Goldfish are one of the eight sacred symbols of Buddha, representing fertility, abundance, and harmony. Ancient Greeks though goldfish brought good luck to marriage. Egyptians kept them in their homes “to add positivity to domestic situations.”
Greek, Celtic, Egyptian, and East Indian people all see a bull as a powerful force. It is said to be a sign of positive things from good health to wealth. The Greeks looked upon the bull as a master of love and fertility.
The deer is another symbol of Chinese good luck. The word for deer, “lu,” means “income.” Often the deer symbolizes luck, success, longevity and prosperity, and the hope for a long and healthy life.
In India, the elephant is seen as a bringer of fortune and wealth.
The frog is a good-luck symbol for many cultures that depend on rain for rich and bountiful crops. Others see frogs as a symbol of fertility, transformation and safe travel.
Ladybugs: In German-speaking countries, they are literally called lucky bugs, “Glueckskaefer.” Some cultures say that if a ladybug lands on you and you don’t brush it off, your luck will improve. The deeper red their color and the more spots they have, the luckier you’ll be!
Because lizards are mainly nocturnal, they have become a symbol for good vision and protection against the unseen things in life.
Chinese lore says that pigs bring good luck to business dealings.
In Korea, the swallow is considered a sign of good luck thanks to the story of Heungbu and Nolbu. According to the story, a sparrow rewarded a kind deed with prosperity.
Egyptians looked at beetles, specifically the Egyptian scarab beetle, as lucky. These beetles wrap their eggs in mud and use the sun for incubation. Because of this ability to always find new life through the sun, Egyptians saw the scarab as a transmitter of luck.
Other Lucky Talismans
Horseshoes are one of the oldest of lucky talismans, and there are varied legends associated with their strength. Suffice it to say that hanging a horseshoe on or above a door is still popular. Make sure that the points face up, making a U so that the horseshoe can fill with luck. Hanging the other way will allow all the luck to run out. Irish brides often carry a horseshoe instead of bouquet on their wedding day.
“Lucky bamboo” is actually a close relative called Dracaena. It’s hardy and long-lived, which might account for its reputation as lucky. The more stalks a lucky bamboo plant has, the more luck it brings. A plant with three stalks is said to bring happiness, wealth, and longevity.
During World War II, fighter pilots carried a variety of lucky charms with them in the hopes of tipping the odds in their favor and coming back alive. Gambling items like cards and dice were popular. Deccofelt Corp started marketing fuzzy dice to hang on the rearview mirrors of cars in 1959.
A “Fumsups” (“thumbs-up”)is a tiny cherub-faced doll giving the lucky thumbs-up with both hands. They had metal bodies and wooden heads that allowed their owner to “touch wood” or “knock on wood” for good fortune. Fumsups were most popular during World War I, when they were given to soldiers. Some versions had a four-leaf clover painted on the doll’s head for an extra dose of good fortune.
Hangman’s noose. The ropes were so valuable that hangmen were even known to cut them into pieces for sale as good luck charms. Sick people wrapped the ropes around their heads to cure headaches and fevers. This talisman was highly popular among gamblers and cardsharps. Other souvenirs of hangings were also considered lucky, but weren’t as reliably available.
A caul is a piece of amniotic membrane that covers the face of newborn babies, albeit rarely. From ancient Rome till the 19th C, it was widely believed that having a piece of one would bring its owner good fortune, confer eloquence, good health and financial success. They were so prized that midwives were known to steal them.
Bezoars are hardened, pearl-like clumps of indigestible matter that sometimes form in the stomach lining of animals. Around 1000 A.D., the stones became known as good luck charms throughout Europe and Asia. Bezoar stones were often mounted in elaborate gold settings or worn as protective amulets, but they were also prized for their supposed curative powers: an antidote to poisons and a cure for many other ailments including epilepsy, dysentery and the plague.
Doing Double Duty
Meaning “the Hand of God,” the Hamsa(from Hebrew חַמְסָה and Arabic خمسة) is a symbol many people in North Africa and Asia Minor have used to ward off the “evil eye” and dark spiritual forces. It is also thought to bring the wearer strength and blessings.
Wearing a gem set in jewelry is used as a shield of protection to ward off troubles and bring happiness. Gems and minerals each are reputed to have specific beneficial properties, so consult a book of stones or search online for info about your favorite stones. (I’ve written more specifics about thisbefore.)
Dreamcatchers are made with a web or net stretched over a loop and decorated with bright beads and feathers. They are said to catch bad dreams as they enter a household. By capturing disturbing dreams, they make the owner happier, more balanced, and luckier. Dreamcatchers can be used as wall art, earrings, etc.
Because of its association with the Norse god Odin, the acorn has come to symbolize wisdom. Acorns also signify fertility, youth, and prosperity. The Norse believed that acorns could bring divine protection and placed them in the windows of their homes to ward off lightning.
Portents of Things to Come
Seeing a lizard scurrying away is a sign for you to flee trouble as well, before it occurs.
Black cat crossing one’s path signals catastrophe to come.
Breaking a mirror causes seven years of bad luck.
Walking under a ladder disrupts the Christian Holy Trinity, leading to divine retribution.
Killing a ladybug hastens the killer’s death.
For the ancient Saxon people, spotting a rabbit was a sign of the spring to come.
Seeing a rainbow, especially a double one, brings prosperity or peace, depending on the setting.
Seeing an albatross portends good luck for sailors.
According to legend, shaking a chimney sweep’s hand or passing one on the street is a harbinger of good fortune. The tradition is especially associated with weddings, so it’s particularly auspicious for couples to encounter chimney sweeps immediately after leaving the church. (Modern British chimney sweeps often supplement their income by hiring themselves out to wedding parties!)
Birds can symbolize many things to many people. Groups of nests, flight patterns, dropped feathers, spots on eggs, etc. mean all sorts of good or bad luck, depending on the setting. For more details, check out mypreviousblogsonBirds!
Find a penny, pick it up, all the day you’ll have good luck—but only if it’s heads up. Tails up, find a penny, let it lay (or give it away) or bad luck you’ll have all day. Some people say that this is true; after all, any coin lying on the ground is luck.
Bottom Line: Talismans to bring luck and/or ward off bad luck are so varied, most people could accumulate dozens. Do they work? I could not say. They may be nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy, causing confidence boosts and selective confirmations. But as a scientist, I urge you to give them a try. If you do, and they make no difference, you’ve lost nothing. On the other hand, if they can make a difference and you ignore them, you’ve missed a chance big time.
By definition, superstitions are irrational beliefs that objects, actions, or circumstances not logically related to an outcome nevertheless influence those outcomes. Every Friday the 13th, I think of superstitions. In the past I’ve blogged about superstitions related to Fridays and to 13s. The superstitions below have nothing to do with the date directly, but there is a belief that negative things happening on Friday the 13th are worse than they would be on other dates.
There are myriad ways to slice and dice the universe of superstitions, including by country or by topic (e.g., love and marriage or hearth and home). Indeed, there are whole books of superstitions out there, and who knows what’s on the internet. But anyone wishing to pursue the topic can do so easily.
Clearly, this blog can give you only a tiny taste of the superstitions out there. So here you go, alphabetically:
April 1, April Fool’s Day
To be fooled by a pretty maiden means the man will marry or befriend her.
To lose one’s temper over a practical joke will bring bad luck.
A wedding on this day means the woman will be the family boss.
Being born on this day means lucky in business and unlucky in speculation.
A girl might meet her fiancé.
It may signify having two husbands.
It might mean illness or early death.
It might mean many children or no children.
It may mean spinsterhood.
Perhaps it portends desertion by a husband.
Bats are very good omens, denoting happiness, peace, long life, wealth, and virtue.
Birds are associated with both good and bad spirits, and are portents of things to come.
A bird in the house or tapping on a window is an omen of death.
Injuring a robin or disturbing its nest brings bad luck.
A friendly robin is a portent of a long, hard winter.
The first robin seen in spring portends good luck if it flies up, bad luck if it flies down.
A robin’s nest near the house brings good luck.
Seeing a robin in the morning portends a visitor the same day.
A swallow nesting in the eaves of a house brings good luck.
A swallow abandoning its nest is a sign the house will burn down.
A swallow skimming near the ground is a prediction of rain.
If a sparrow builds a nest under your window, you will take a trip.
Turtle doves near the house prevent rheumatism.
Eagles are said to carry off lambs and small children.
The cry of a peacock under a window predicts a death in the house.
Seeing a hawk is an omen of victory or success.
Seeing a crow in flight is time to make a wish; if the crow doesn’t flap its wings, the wish will come true.
Magpies (or jackdaws or crows, depending on where you live) mean different things depending on how many you see:
One for sorrow, Two for joy, Three for a girl, Four for a boy, Five for silver, Six for gold, Seven for a secret never to be told.
To break the curse of seeing a lone magpie, salute the magpie.
If bread falls butter side down, hungry company will come seeking food.
Eating bread crusts will make your cheeks rosy.
Two people saying “bread and butter” after someone or something comes between them will break the spell of bad luck.
Waving bread and sugar around a wound will make it heal faster.
A black ace falling on the floor during a bridge game is a sign to stop playing.
Singing during a card game is bad luck.
It’s unlucky to play cards on a bare table.
A cat washing its face is a sign of a visitor coming.
A black cat crossing one’s path is an omen of very good or very bad luck, depending on the culture.
A strange cat following you or making a home with you brings good luck.
If you wake up to a cat on your chest, it means the cat was under the influence of evil spirits and was trying to steal your breath as your slept.
If a knife falls on the floor you will have a gentleman visitor.
If a fork falls, it will be a lady visitor.
Crossing knife and fork is a bad omen.
Days of the Week
Good or bad luck depends on the day of the week.
Monday for health Tuesday for wealth Wednesday the best day of all Thursday for crosses Friday for losses Saturday no luck at all
A child’s entire life is influenced by the day of the week on which they were born.
Monday’s child is fair of face Tuesday’s child is full of grace Wednesday’s child is full of woe Thursday’s child has far to go, Friday’s child is loving and giving, Saturday’s child works hard for a living, And the child that is born on the Sabbath day Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
A yellow dog happening to follow your tracks is a sign of good luck.
A dog howling in the night, especially at the moon, is a harbinger of death.
A dog predicts rain by lying on its back or eating grass.
Sailors held the belief that a pierced ear with a ring in it improved eyesight.
More generally, piercing a child’s ears will improve eyesight.
Small = stingy
Large = generous
Long = long life
An itching left ear portends sadness or bad luck; itching right ear means someone is speaking well of you.
Two yolks in one egg means great financial prosperity is on the way.
Refusing an Easter egg is an invitation to lose the friendship of the person offering it.
Rabbits lay eggs at Easter time.
Eggs blessed at Easter are supposed to ward off illness.
When cracking Easter Eggs with a friend, the one whose egg cracks first will have good fortune.
If your right eye twitches, you are going to hear good news.
A twitching eyelid means someone is thinking fondly of you.
A person with brown/ blue/ hazel/ green/ grey eyes brings bad luck.
A person with heterochromia (eyes different colors) is a witch or a demon.
Grey or blue eyes can see the future.
Friends crossing index fingers over one another and making a wish will have their wish granted.
Crossing your middle finger over your index finger either brings good luck or is a sign of lying.
A person with a ring finger longer than the index finger is sure to be wealthy.
If a person points a finger in the direction of a graveyard, they must bite their finger to avoid inviting death.
Broad nails show that a person is generous.
Long fingernails reveal a lack of thrift.
Short fingernails mark a liar.
Specks on fingernails correspond with the number of lies told.
Cutting a baby’s nails before the first birthday means the child will become a thief. (Bite them off instead.)
Cutting nails on Friday is bad luck.
Cutting the nails of a sick person means that person will never get well.
Handkerchiefs used to wipe tears at a funeral must be buried with the coffin or thrown away.
Singing, laughing, or talking too loudly at a funeral will wake the dead.
Not crying and singing funeral hymns loudly enough will anger the recently departed and wake the dead.
A man not wearing a belt to a funeral will bring death home with him.
Gloves are not good!
Picking up a glove is to risk bad luck.
Dropping a glove brings bad luck.
Giving someone gloves invites the breakup of the friendship.
Hitting someone with a glove, even accidentally, means wishing for their death.
Dig graves facing east toward Gabriel when he blows his horn.
Tools used to dig a grave should be left nearby for several days.
If someone shivers for no apparent reason, someone is walking over his/her grave.
Open graves are ill omens.
Leaving the site of a grave before the gravediggers lower the coffin means another death will follow.
Some cultures require a corpse to be buried in a standing position, holding weapons at the ready.
Sharp objects given as gifts will turn on their new owner.
Giving certain numbers of objects (such as flowers or cookies) is unlucky, varying widely around the world.
In some areas, giving any unreciprocated gifts is unlucky.
Most of these gift taboos can be avoided by repaying the giver with a symbolic trifle, such as a penny or a piece of bread.
An itchy right hand means money is coming.
An itchy left hand means money is slipping away.
Rubbing an itchy left hand on wood and wishing for money will break the spell of losing.
An itchy right hand means that a friend is coming.
Hand itching means you will shake hands with a stranger.
Itchy hands also means that you will be entertaining company.
Itchy palms means the receipt of unexpected money.
Every town and village in the world seems to have a different variation of hand signs to ward off evil.
Thumb holding middle and ring finger against the palm with other fingers extended.
Holding the hand with the palm flat and all fingers pointed forward, folding each finger against the palm separately and sequentially.
Tucking the thumb between the index and middle finger with all fingers pulled into the palm.
Binding anyone’s hands together will condemn them to a life of misfortune.
Folding or crossing one’s hands causes infertility.
Setting a hen on the first Monday of the month brings good luck.
Setting hens on Sunday night brings successful hatching.
If 13 eggs are set, 12 will be pullets and 1 will be a rooster.
Long eggs hatch roosters; round eggs hatch pullets.
Having the hiccups means someone is remembering you fondly.
Each hiccup is an attempt by a demon to draw your soul from your body.
If the tail of a man’s shirt is ironed (or starched) will make the man harsh.
An ironing board falling across a door is an omen of death.
Ironing the backs of clothes is bad luck.
Injury or Illness
Stepping on a crack will break your spine.
Sleeping with wet hair will make you sick.
Women sitting on bare cement will become infertile.
If your shadow falls on a graveyard or a funeral procession, you will become gravely ill.
Blowing in a baby’s mouth will cure colic.
The presence of a net beneath a trapeze or high-wire act will cause the performers to injure themselves or fall.
Jar of water with a knife in it behind the door will protect a building against the devil.
July 25, wet or dry, is the day to plant turnips.
Jumping over a baby means they won’t grow very tall.
Couples jumping over bonfires together will have peace and good fortune for a year.
Jumping exactly as the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s will bring good luck in the coming year.
If someone gives you a knife it will cut the friendship unless you “buy” it by giving a penny, pin, etc.
Leaving a penknife open brings bad luck.
Handing an open knife to someone will lead to a quarrel.
Knocking on Wood
Knocking on wood before starting a project is inviting good luck.
Knock on wood after bragging/boasting to prevent future failure.
Ladybug / Ladybird
It’s bad luck to kill a ladybug.
A ladybug landing on you will bring good luck.
A ladybug flying off you will take away all your troubles with her.
More than 7 spots on a ladybug’s wing means famine.
Fewer than 7 means a good harvest.
Make a wish with a ladybug in your hand and the direction she flies shows the direction your luck will come from.
Itchy lips means someone is speaking ill of you.
Itchy upper lip, someone tall will kiss you
Itchy lower lip, a short person will kiss you.
If you bite your lip while eating alone, you have a great kiss ahead.
Unmarried people who sit at the corner of a table will never get married.
Girls who want to get married should write the names of three prospective spouses on slips of paper and slide them under their pillow. She then discards one at night, one in the morning, and the remaining paper will have the name of her future spouse.
Married women are very lucky wedding guests. The longer she has been married, the more luck she brings to the new couple.
A man who walks between two women will have an unhappy marriage.
Moles or Warts
On the forehead near the hairline is a sign of bad fortune.
On the chin or ear is a sign of wealth.
On the breast is a sign of poverty.
On the throat is a sign of good luck.
A mole on your arm, live on a farm.
Having lots of moles indicates future wealth.
Breaking a mirror brings seven years of bad luck.
Looking at your reflection in a broken mirror brings permanent bad luck.
Standing between two mirrors allows spirits to steal your soul.
Count nine stars for nine nights and on the last night one’s lover will be revealed.
Find nine peas in one pod, hang it above the door, and the next person through the door will be one’s spouse.
A nail dropped on the floor can only build crooked houses.
Carrying an iron nail will ward off evil influences and demons.
Looking at a coffin nail while carrying a body to a graveyard invites death.
A rusty nail stuck through a lemon will keep away the evil eye.
Omens of Misfortune
Spilling salt on the table.
A rooster crowing at night.
Killing a spider.
Stepping over a snake.
Dropping a comb.
Stepping on sidewalk or road cracks.
Laughing before breakfast.
The number 13.
Hearing a screeching owl is an omen of bad luck.
An owl perched on a house predicts death to someone within.
In Wales, the hoot of an owl signaled that an unmarried girl had surrendered her chastity.
Owls are sacred in some parts of India because their eyesight is phenomenal.
Owls signal approaching death.
A ring set with a pearl is unlucky.
Pearls signify tears.
A gift of pearls will bring tears and sadness to the recipient.
Finding a pearl in an oyster is a sign of good luck.
A high forehead is a sign of a reflective mind.
A high forehead is a sign of leadership.
Large eyes signify benevolence and wonders
A wide skull indicates pugnaciousness.
Large heads contain large brains, signifying high intelligence.
Saying the word “quiet” will cause all hell to break loose.
Seeing a quail is a sign that a goal can be attained only if the seer acts immediately.
Seeing a quail in flight is an omen of danger or death.
Dreaming of a quail is a sign that love, good fortune, and victory are coming.
Putting a quarter into a pot of black-eyed peas will bring good luck and money.
Adding a quarter to a tip jar will make it fill faster.
Tucking a quarter into a purse or wallet given as a gift means it will always have money in it.
Redheads are emotionally unstable and of terrible temper.
A redhead who tends a cheese vat will produce curd not fit to eat.
The appearance of a white horse heralds the appearance of a red haired girl, and vice versa.
Seeing a redhead first thing in the morning is a sign of bad luck.
Rats leaving a house signifies bad luck.
Rats entering a house bring good luck.
Rats won’t go through a soaped hole.
Catch a rat, paint it garish colors, and release. It will drive other rats away.
Hanging a snakeskin from the rafters will protect a house from fire.
Killing the first snake you see every year will guarantee victory over any foe.
Seeing a snake cross one’s path or dreaming of a snake are bad luck.
Pregnant women who are frightened by a snake will give birth to a child with a constricted neck.
A snake will never bite a pregnant woman.
Tying a snakeskin around the waist of a woman in labor will ease childbirth.
Feeding women in labor a drink containing the powdered rattle of a rattlesnake will ease childbirth.
Carrying a snakeskin is generally beneficial to health, effective against headaches and extracting thorns from the skin.
Carrying a snake tooth will ward off fever.
Carrying a snake tooth is lucky when gambling.
To avoid getting bitten by a snake, wear an emerald.
When a snake’s head is severed, it will not die till sunset.
If you sing before breakfast, you will cry before the day is done.
If you sing before you dress, you’ll have trouble before you undress.
If you sing before seven, you’ll cry before eleven.
If you sing before you eat, you’ll cry before you sleep.
It is unlucky to have an umbrella bought aboard.
It is unlucky to drive nails on Sunday.
Whistling aboard ship brings bad luck.
If a bee or small bird lands on the ship, it means good luck.
If a hawk, owl, or crow lands in the rigging, it means bad luck.
A horseshoe nailed to the mast protects against witches.
It is unlucky to set sail on Friday, lucky to set sail on Sunday.
A baby who sucks its thumb will grow up to be hideous.
A thumb turned backward indicates an inability to save money.
Thumb pricking means something bad is coming along.
Thumb itching indicates visitors are coming.
Closely associated with the Holy Trinity in several world religions: Christianity, Hinduism, Islam.
Some pagan traditions celebrate the trinity of land, sea, and air to make up earth.
Third time lucky/third time’s the charm.
A person will resurface three times before drowning.
If three people make up a bed, one of them will fall ill.
Good things and bad things come in threes.
Shakespeare’s Macbeth is so unlucky that people avoid saying the name in a theater, referring to “the Scottish play” instead.
Whistling onstage or backstage is bad luck.
Wishing a performer good luck will bring the opposite, hence the common “Break a leg!” wish before going onstage.
A terribly dress rehearsal means the performance will be excellent, and vice versa.
Failing to salute the resident ghost (every theater has at least one) will cause it to be angry and take revenge.
Carrying an umbrella will ward off rain.
Opening an umbrella in the house is bad luck.
Holding an open umbrella over your head in the house will lead to your death within a year.
Turning a picture upside down brings bad luck to the person or place in the picture.
An upside down photograph or picture turned to the wall invites lurking evil spirits to attack the subject of the picture.
Turning a photo of a person to face the wall or the floor will protect you from evil influences caused by that person.
Slippers or shoes left upside down on the floor will cause trouble on the next journey.
Wearing new underwear on a first date will doom the relationship.
Wearing underwear inside out will improve test or exam scores.
Visit on Monday and you’ll be visiting out every day of the week.
Guests, like fish, should be thrown out after three days.
Violets grow where tears have fallen.
Drinking tea made from violet petals cures heartbreak.
Dreaming of violets means you’ll come into money or marry someone younger.
When violets bloom in the autumn, an epidemic is coming.
Wash and wipe together, live and fight together.
If a woman gets wet while washing clothes, she will marry a drunkard.
A woman who wants beautiful hair should wash it in water from March snow.
Washing laundry on Saturday or Tuesday is bad luck.
A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to no good end.
If little girls whistle they will grow beards.
Whistling in the house invites bad luck.
If someone whistles inside a house, they will become financially irresponsible and lose money.
A bride jumping out of bed and landing on both feet on her wedding day bodes well for her married life.
The bride and groom seeing each other before they meet at the altar will doom the marriage.
An iron horseshoe carried by the bride will bring good fortune to her extended family.
A thunderstorm during a wedding is an omen of bad luck.
A snowstorm during a wedding is a lucky omen.
A Sunday wedding is a good omen.
A Friday wedding is a bad omen.
Marrying on the last day of the year is especially auspicious.
Wearing pearls on your wedding day tempts sorrow, tears, and an unhappy future.
Yawning during prayers is a bad omen.
Yawning without covering one’s mouth allows the devil entrance.
Giving yellow clothing as a gift will bring bad luck.
Wearing yellow clothing to any kind of test will cause a poor performance.
When speeding through a yellow traffic light, a driver throwing a kiss to the roof of the car will avoid accidents and police.
Zero is a whole number as well as an even one, and thus a lucky digit.
Seeing a wild zebra means you are spiritually safe from harm.
A zebra licking your hand can mean danger is coming or someone is holding onto bad memories.
The black and white of a zebra indicates good and bad.
Dreaming of a zebra means one is facing situations that are difficult to control.
Follow a zebra to find water.
More stripes on the front legs of a zebra than on the back is an omen of a baby, possibly twin boys
One zebra is a sign of good luck and blessings. Seeing two zebras in the morning is an omen of illness and maybe two bad harvest seasons.
A running zebras is an omen of an ample harvest.
Bottom line: The superstitions listed here are shared by many people, but every culture and person has different beliefs. Anything can become a personal superstition if something unrelated is associated in time or place with a dramatic event or outcome (such as lucky socks or particular foods). Consider how someone might come to feel anxious and fear bad things will happen if s/he loses a carved wooden heart. If you are writing about an entirely fictitious culture, you can invent whatever superstitions you like!