Every culture has its own superstitions, from the very sensible to the extremely nonsensical. Korea is certainly no exception to this rule with a plethora of interesting superstitions meant to protect you and enhance your quality of life. Here's a list of 10 Korean superstitions that you need to know.
1) Fans can kill you
I don't mean crazed K-pop fans who have just had their biases insulted with this one. I mean actual fans, the ones that keep your room nice and cool during hot summer nights. According to this superstition, a spinning fan in an enclosed space will suck out all of the oxygen in a room and move the air around in such a way that makes it harder to breathe, leading to you suffocating to death.
(To this day, my mom will not let me leave the fan on at night without the door and windows both open.)
2) Don't whistle or sing at night
Don't do this, unless you want to attract some unwanted attention from spirits, ghosts, and demons. A slightly less terrifying (but still scary) version of this superstition is that snakes will appear.
(Don't worry, snakes are deaf. I can't say the same for ghosts and spirits though.)
3) Don't shake your legs
If you're fidgeting and shaking your leg right now, stop! According to this superstition, you're literally shaking off your good luck and wealth.
(Look at all that luck and money they're losing!!)
F) The number '4' is an unlucky number
This is a superstition that stems from China. In Chinese, the number 4 sounds very similar to 'death,' and the belief crossed over to Korea. In fact, some Korean elevators have an 'F' for the fourth floor, similar to how some American buildings don't have a 13th floor.
("I would like to go to the Fth floor please.")
5) Don't give your significant other a pair of shoes
Or do so if you want a smoother breakup. This is said to make your significant other run away from you, effectively ending the relationship.
6) Don't jump over your baby
This one is kind of obvious for the fact that you never want to jump over a child for the child's safety. However, jumping over a baby is said to leave the baby unable to grow tall. Whatever reason stops you from doing this, I guess.
(Choo Sarang will be extremely mad if you jump over her.)
7) Don't walk down Deoksugong Path with your significant other
Walking down Deoksugong path in Seoul means that you and your significant other will split soon. This superstition is actually rooted in history, as wedded couples needed to walk down that path to the Seoul Family Court if they wanted a divorce.
(Don't be like this unlucky pair.)
8) Writing someone's name in red ink will cause them to die
In Korea, the names of the dead used to be written in red ink. Today, it is said that writing someone's name in red ink signifies that they will die soon.
9) Eat lots of sticky foods before an exam
We all have our own studying superstitions to pass our exams and classes. One Korean superstition is to eat sticky foods, like toffee and yut (a traditional Korean candy). Sticky foods are said to help knowledge 'stick' in your head better.
(A great reason to eat a ton of candy in school)
Conversely, don't eat anything slippery on the day of the exam, like miyukguk (seaweed soup). This could cause the knowledge you studied so hard for to slip out of your head.
(Miyukguk, aka the bane of students' existence in Korea)
10) Dream of pigs!
I'm not sure how to do this one, but try to have more dreams of pigs. In Korea, pigs are a symbol of wealth and luck, and dreaming of pigs could signify more of each in your future!
(This little guy is the source of all your happiness.)
11) And DO dream of someone dying!
As morbid as that may sound, dreaming of someone dying actually signifies future luck for that person! (So you might want to abstain from killing your mortal enemy in your dreams.)
12) Don't have a mirror in front of the door
Mirrors seem to be the basis for a lot of lucky and unlucky myths around the world. While Americans avoid breaking mirrors, Koreans avoid leaving a mirror directly in front of a door as this will deflect good luck from entering.
13) Don't wash your hair on New Year's Day
New Year's Day gives you a fresh start to a brand new year. Don't start it off by washing away your luck! (Yes, yet another reason not to shower.)
14) Seeing a funeral car in the morning will give you bad luck for the day
According to this superstition, spotting a funeral car will give you bad luck for the day. To avoid this, you can just leave the house only at nighttime. (Just kidding!)
15) Don't throw out your fingernail clippings on the street
This one gets a little weird. If you throw your fingernail clippings at night into the street, mice will eat them and take on your form and steal your soul.
(It's already started with Taeyeon!!!)
What are some of the most interesting superstitions you know? Comment below!