The Greek culture has many superstitions, and although the majority claim to not actually believe them, there is still a lot of evidence around that some are believers. Some of the more common stories are as follows:
The Evil Eye
Some Greeks, especially in villages, believe that someone can catch the evil eye, or “matiasma”, from someone else’s jealousy, compliment, or envy. A person who has caught the evil eye usually feels bad physically and psychologically. To avoid the matiasma, those who believe in it wear a charm: a little blue marble glass with an eye painted on it or a blue bracelet. Blue is believed to be the color that wards off the evil eye but it is also believed that people with blue eyes are givers of the matiasma.Garlic is another way to ward off the evil eye, and one can sometimes see it hanging in a corner of some houses. Garlic, as well as onion, is also considered of having a great healing power by many Greeks. If someone is feeling ill, they will advice him to eat garlic.
Greeks never hand knives to someone who asks for it for they consider that if they do that they will have a fight with the person. Therefore they set it down on the table and let the other person take it.
Some Greeks believe that spitting chases the devil and other misfortune away. That is why when someone talks about bad news (deaths, accidents, etc…) the others slightly spit three times saying “ftou, ftou, ftou”.
It is still very common to spit on the devil during a baptism service! Although, it is never actual spit, it is more of a gesture.
Tuesday the 13th
Unlike the western belief, in Greece the unlucky day is Tuesday the 13th.
When two people say the same thing together they immediately say “piase kokkino” (meaning literally, ‘grab red’) and both have to touch any red item they can find around him. This happens because Greeks believe that saying the same thing is an omen and that the two persons will get into a fight or an argument if they don’t touch a red thing. Nowadays, it is merely done for a game.
These are only a few of the many but probably the most commonly believed. Sometimes I am surprised at what people believe, other times, I am just really embarrassed for them! Overall, I think it is interesting what superstitions have arisen from various cultures.