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Why Tuesday 13th is unlucky and other Spanish superstitions

Friday 13th is well known as the unluckiest day of the year around the world. If you’re at all superstitious you probably take more care than usual on this day, blaming anything unfortunate that happens on it being Friday 13th.

However, it isn’t actually considered unlucky in all countries. Did you know that in Spain, Friday 13th is just another normal day? It’s Tuesday 13th that you actually need to watch out for!

When you move to a new country, it’s always interesting to hear about different customs and traditions. Read on to find out why the Spanish think Tuesday 13th is the unluckiest day of the year…

Why is Tuesday 13th uncluky in Spain?

In Spain Tuesday 13th, known as martes trece, is thought to bring the ‘mala suerte’ (bad luck) rather than Friday 13th. There are thought to be many reasons for the day to be considered unfortunate, one of these being that ‘martes’, the word for Tuesday in Spanish, is related to the Roman God of War, Mars.

There is also an old saying “En martes ni te cases, ni te embarques, ni de tu casa te apartes.” In English, this translates as “On Tuesday, don’t marry, don’t start a journey nor leave your house.”, adding to the thought that Tuesdays aren’t always the best day!

Another reason for this superstition is also down to some historical events happening on Tuesday 13th, such as the fall of Constantinople to the Fourth Crusade on Tuesday 13th April 1204.

While you may not be superstitious yourself and take no notice of the dates, for some people it’s more serious. For example, did you know that there’s actually a real phobia called ‘Trezidavomartiofobia’ (fear of Tuesday 13th), causing an uncontrollable fear of leaving the house and coming into contact with others!

More Spanish superstitions

Some other unusual superstions that you may hear about in Spain include:

No hats on the bed

In Spain it’s considered bad luck to put a hat on the bed. This is because it was believed that evil spirits lived in your hair and could therefore easily be transferred from hair to hat to bed, resulting in these evil spirits getting you in the night.

Don’t put your handbag on the floor

You may notice that in restaurants and bars Spanish women never but their handbags on the floor. This is because the Spanish believe leaving your handbag on the floor will result in you losing your money. So make sure you have an extra chair at the table!

Don’t buy knives or scissors as a gift

Buying a gift for someone in Spain? Be careful what you choose! Buying knives or scissors for a loved one is thought to mean that your relationship will be cut.

Use the right foot

Spanish superstition says that ‘misfortune enters the room with the left foot’, so try to always enter a room with the right foot. If you forget don’t worry, you can make the sign of the cross 3 times to counter the bad luck.

Don’t ‘break a leg’

Rather than wishing someone harm as a sign of good luck, the Spanish will tell you “mucha mierda” which translates as “lots of shit”!

Protect your home with cacti

You might have seen cacti on many window sills in Spain. The reason for this is that Spanish tradition believes that a cactus can ward off evil.

Watch where you’re sweeping

Apparently if you accidentally brush the feet of a single woman while sweeping the floor, she will never get married, so watch where you put that broom!

Are you a superstitious person? Do you believe in any of these Spanish superstitions? Let us know in the comments if you’ve heard of any others!

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Why is Tuesday 13th unlucky in Spain? | Our Spanish Adventures

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