Most households will have unspoken rules that are adhered to by all who live there. Where one family may never dream of entering the home with their shoes on, another may insist that all meals are eaten at the dinner table, rather than in front of the television. Where these rules are practical and help to make sure that the daily routine runs more smoothly, across the globe there are other ‘rules’ that have a more spiritual purpose.
Here we have rounded up some of the most interesting and unusual superstitions from around the world, with ways in which you can incorporate these beliefs into your own home!
Although a dog is a man’s best friend, cats are certainly coming up a close second as England is fast becoming a feline friendly nation! As well as being fun to play with and great to cuddle, having a pet cat could bring more to a home than you think. In Russia, whenever a new house is bought it is customary to let the pet cat enter first, before anyone else. Doing so can bring peace and happiness to anyone who lives there, as Domovoy, a protective house spirit is believed to ride on the cats back as they take the first steps into the home.
If you are moving home but don’t have a feline friend to welcome in Domovoy, why not find a stylish ornament of a cat, to match your decoration, and place it above or beside your door.
Pineapples for Prosperity
Pineapples have been a popular motif in home design in recent years, adorning bedsheets, vases, cushions and more with their fun and fruity shape. Whilst in England we love this pattern as it reminds us of far off tropical paradises, in Singapore, pineapples are favoured as they are believed to bring financial gain!
In Hokkien, a widely spoken Chinese dialect, the word for pineapple is ‘ong lai’, which sounds very similar to the phrase ‘incoming fortune’. Rather than letting the cat enter first, many Southeast Asian countries roll a pineapple, hoping the incoming fortune as suggested in its name will also enter too. To add some prosperity to your home, we love the abundance of stylised pineapple homewares that are available to buy, such as this toned down lamp with a pineapple base.
No use crying over Broken Dishes
Smashing plates or glasses is a common folk tradition at Greek weddings, or other celebratory occasions. Within the home however, if a plate is broken it can be a messy and embarrassing affair, especially if it is mums best china!
For Russian homes, broken plates are considered to convey happiness and it is in fact considered to be good luck. The reasons for this are unclear, but it is suggested that this meaning was created as a way for guests to avoid embarrassment and the host to avoid getting upset at a feast if a dish or glass was accidentally broken. Historically, for a peasant to have a porcelain plate it would be considered a luxury item, so having a delicate plate in the first place could also by why there are no hard feelings if it was to break.
As well as bringing happiness, a broken dish can be used to create a beautiful mosaic tiled effect that can be incorporated into the home as a standout and interesting feature. Why not head to a jumble sale or a charity shop to find some interesting painted plates to smash up and rearrange into a stunning mosaic wall.
Whether you believe in them or not, taking inspiration from these global superstitions can be a fun way to add interesting features into your household. Will you be trying any of these out next time you update your home decoration?