Superstitions in Greece
Greek superstitions are coming either from religion or paganism. They vary from region to region.
The Evil Eye (μάτι – mati)
Some Greeks, especially in villages, believe that someone can catch the evil eye, or matiasma, from someone else’s jealous compliment or envy. A person who has caught the evil eye usually feels bad physically and psychologically. In this case, an expert in xematiasma must tell a special pray to release the person in pain from the bad effects of the evil eye.
To avoid the matiasma, those who believe in it wear a charm, a little blue bead with an eye painted on it. Blue is believed to be the colour that wards off the evil eye, but it is also believed that people with blue eyes are most possible givers of the matiasma.
It is believed that spitting chases the devil and the misfortune away. That is why when someone talks bad news (deaths, accidents, etc), the others slightly spit three times saying ftou, ftou, ftou. Another example is that someone that compliments a baby, a child or even an adult for its beauty, has also to spit three times on the complimented person so that he doesn’t give him the bad eye (mati).
Not only the Evil Eye protects one from bad look, also garlic does. Many Greeks have a piece of garlic (skorda) with them, for example in their bag, which should protect them. Also in combination with onions it seems to have a healthy effect.
Also if somebody gives you a bad compliment, like: “You will fall down the stairs soon!”, the Greeks are do a kind of spitting on themselves and say the word skorda (garlic). Of course three times, the Greeks are always doing everything three times.
If a Greek should ask you for a knife, never give it directly to him. Leave it at the table and wait until he takes it.
Watch your shoes!
An omen for very bad luck and even for your death is to leave your shoe soles up. If this should happen nevertheless, no problem: You should directly spit three times and say “skorda”.
Black cat & mirror break
If someone sees black cat, this is supposed to be bad luck for the rest of the day.
Also if a glass or mirror breaks, it is believed to be bad luck for seven years.
According to the folk Christmas traditions, the kallikantzari are short, ungly creatures with many deformities.
It is believed that kallikantzaroi stay underground, sawing the world tree so that it will collapse, along with the Earth. However, according to folklore, when they are about to saw the final part, Christmas dawns and they are able to come to the surface. They forget the tree and come to tease people with many pranks and bring trouble to mortals.
Finally, on the Epiphany (6 January), the sun starts moving again, the priest of the village goes from house to house and sprinkles the rooms with sanctified holy water and and they must return underground to continue their sawing. They see that during their absence, the world tree has healed itself, so they must start working all over again.
a smal poem is….
Φεύγετε να φεύγωμε ( Flee!!so we all can flee) έρχεται ο τρελόπαπας (here comes the crazy priest) με την αγιαστούρα του (with his bundle of basil stems and leaves) και με τη βρεχτούρα του. (dipped in holy water) Μας άγιασε μας έβρεξε (he sanctified us and wet us) και μας, μας εκατέκαψε. ( and burned us away!!!)
Tuesday the 13th
Unlike the western belief, in Greece the unlucky day is Tuesday the 13th and not Friday the 13th.
The expression Piase Kokkino
When two people say the same thing together at the same time, they immediately say “piase kokkino” (touch red) one to another and both have to touch any red item they can find around them.
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 something red.