In Western culture, you will probably feel nervous when you break a mirror because it may bring seven years of bad luck. When you knock over (打翻) a salt shaker (佐料瓶), you will have to throw some salt over your left shoulder. These will look strange and foolish to Asians. Yet the same Asian people might turn around and tell you that it is bad luck to get married or travel on certain days, or stick (插) your chopsticks upright in a bowl full of rice.
Every country in the world has its own superstitious beliefs that go far back into its history and traditions. In Spain, you will have bad luck if you wear your shirt inside out. In Europe or the U.S., people avoid walking under a ladder. Russians will not wash their hair on the day when a family member is leaving the house. In China, you will rarely find the 4th and 14th floors as these numbers have similar pronunciations to that of “death.” Sometimes beliefs in different countries have opposite (相反的) meanings. Russians never have birthday parties before the actual birth date, but some Chinese people would have their birthdays celebrated beforehand (預先). While in many European countries, a black cat crossing your way is a bad sign, in Britain, a black cat brings good luck. Germans are more specific about black cats though. If a black cat crosses your path from the right to the left, it is a bad sign, but from the left to the right—the cat is granting(賜給) favorable(有助益的) times for you.
Superstitions are not supposed to influence our lives, but if you go abroad, you should find out in advance about the most popular superstitions of that country so that you will not make someone uncomfortable by doing something totally “unlucky.”