Hispanic Superstitions: Fascinating traditions that add magic to life

Hispanic Superstitions: 17 fascinating traditions that add magic to life

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Have you ever tried sticking a knife in the ground to keep it from raining, or knocked on wood for good luck? Well, maybe you should, according to certain Hispanic superstitions. These seemingly quirky practices are just a glimpse into the captivating world of beliefs and traditions that many Latinos hold dear.

Today, we’ll have a glimpse into the captivating world of beliefs and traditions that many Latinos hold dear. Be prepared to be both amused and fascinated by the enchanting superstitions that add a touch of magic to the lives of countless individuals across these diverse cultures.

The evil eye

In Hispanic culture, the evil eye, known as “el mal de ojo,” is a belief that envious glances can bring harm to individuals, especially babies and small children. To ward off the malevolent gaze, many people carry a small amulet called a “mano de azabache” (jet-black hand) or use red ribbons as protective charms. These talismans are thought to deflect negative energy and keep the evil eye at bay.

Crowing roosters

This is one of the best-known Mexican superstitions. The crowing of a rooster at night is considered an omen of death in some Mexican regions. This superstition is deeply rooted in the belief that roosters are protectors of the home, and their nighttime crowing indicates a disturbance in the natural order.

Purses on the floor

Have you ever casually tossed your purse onto the ground? Well, according to Hispanic superstitions, that’s a big no-no. It’s like playing a game of superstition roulette with your finances and luck. It might seem harmless, but according to this belief, it’s like sending an invitation to financial misfortune. Placing your purse on the ground is seen as an act that can cause your money to “run away” or be lost.

So, whether you’re in a park, a café, or anywhere else, you’ll often see people carefully hanging their purses on the back of their chairs or finding another elevated spot to keep them off the ground. It’s all about safeguarding your finances and keeping your luck intact. After all, why take unnecessary risks when it comes to money? Keep that purse elevated and your fortunes soaring!

Passing the salt

Picture a dining table set for a delicious meal. The salt shaker sits in the middle, and you need a pinch to season your dish. But here’s the catch: In this belief, you should never pass the salt directly to someone’s hand. Instead, you place it close to them on the table, allowing them to pick it up themselves.

Passing salt directly from hand to hand is believed to invite bad luck or even provoke a quarrel. By placing it within easy reach, you’re symbolically avoiding any potential negativity and ensuring harmony around the table.

Putting Saint Anthony upside down

When it comes to matters of the heart, some people turn to Saint Anthony for a little celestial matchmaking, even when it involves flipping his figure upside down! The belief goes that this playful inversion of the saint’s statue will inspire him to work his miracle-making magic in the realm of love.

Sweeping single women’s feet

Here’s a superstitious twist that’s sure to sweep you off your feet. In some Hispanic and Mexican superstitions, sweeping the feet of single women is seen as a bad omen for their romantic prospects. It is believed that this act sweeps away their chances of finding love and happiness in marriage. So, from now on be careful with that broom, just in case.

Sweeping at night

Have you ever thought of giving your home a quick clean after the sun has set? Well, think again! In Hispanic and Mexican superstitions, sweeping after sunset is seen as a bad omen. It’s like inviting misfortune through the front door with each sweep.

According to this quirky belief, your trusty broom, which is usually a symbol of cleanliness, turns into a bit of a troublemaker at night. So, it’s best to let it rest once darkness falls and save your cleaning sprees for the daylight hours. Think of it as giving your broom a curfew, and you’ll be keeping your home free from any late-night misfortune!

Sticking knives in the ground

This is another Mexican superstition. It is believed that sticking a knife into the ground can influence the weather, warding off rain and storms. To make sure that it works, you must start right when the first gray cloud shows up. It is said that this ancient practice came from farmers trying to protect their crops. Who knew that knives could moonlight as weather wizards?

Crossing knives

Just like the previous one, there’s another quirky twist among Hispanic and Mexican superstitions that involves knives and their power over the weather. In many countries, when rain just won’t quit, folks play their weather card: stacking two knives in the shape of a cross and praying to San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isidore the Laborer), the Catholic patron saint of all things agricultural. The accompanying prayer consists of chanting: “San Isidro Labrador, quita el agua y pon el sol,” which means “Saint Isidore the Laborer, take away the water, bring in the sun.”

This ritual is an interesting way to try and persuade the skies to cooperate, turning rainy days into sunny ones.

Things taken by goblins

Ever had something mysteriously out of place or simply vanish into thin air? According to some Hispanic superstitions, these mysterious disappearances can sometimes be attributed to mischievous goblins. These little troublemakers are believed to sneak into homes and rearrange or hide belongings just for fun. When the keys end up in the cookie jar or the TV remote takes an unannounced vacation, some folks playfully blame these elusive creatures.

Itchy palms

Ever had an itchy palm that just wouldn’t quit? In Hispanic and Mexican superstitions, those tingly sensations are like financial telegrams from the cosmos.

Let’s break it down: Right palm itching? Get ready for a money infusion! It’s like a celestial cash alert, suggesting that financial fortune is headed your way. Left palm itching? Hold onto your wallet, money might be slipping through your fingers.

Hot ears

Have you ever felt your ears suddenly turn red and heat up for no apparent reason? Well, according to Hispanic and Mexican superstitions, this isn’t just a physiological quirk; it’s the universe giving you a nudge, whispering that someone out there is talking about you. Similarly to itchy palms, if your left ear is red and hot, someone is saying bad things about you, while a red right ear means that you’re being praised!

Knocking on wood

“Tocar madera” or knocking on wood is a widespread superstition practiced to ward off bad luck. Whenever someone makes a statement or prediction that they hope will come true, they quickly tap or knock on a wooden surface to ensure it remains jinx-free. So, next time you’re sharing your hopes or dreams and you don’t want to tempt fate, quickly tap or knock on the nearest wooden surface.

Wet paper or cotton for babies’ hiccups

When a baby is plagued by those pesky hiccups, some turn to a quirky but beloved remedy involving a small piece of wet paper or cotton gently placed on the baby’s forehead. The belief is that this simple yet enchanting remedy has the power to stop the hiccups in their tracks, offering much-needed relief to the little one.

Eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve

This is a very well-known and fun Hispanic tradition that is very difficult to perform if you don’t like grapes. Right when the clock is about to strike midnight, and you’re surrounded by friends and family, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the new year, you hold 12 grapes, one for each stroke of the clock. As the bells chime, you eat one grape with each ring, making a wish or setting an intention for each grape.

Why 12 grapes, you ask? Well, it’s believed to bring good luck for each month of the upcoming year. So, with each grape you consume, you’re effectively sprinkling a bit of fortune and prosperity into your future.

Walking with a suitcase on New Years

This is another fun New Year superstition. Some people take their suitcases and walk them around the block, some even take their passports with them for the walk!

It is said that by taking a suitcase stroll on this special night, you’re playfully telling the universe that you’re ready to pack your bags for many travels in the coming year.

Wearing yellow underwear

In the realm of Hispanic and Mexican superstitions, even your choice of underwear can be a delightful ritual, especially on New Year’s Eve.

As the year draws to a close, many people choose to don yellow underwear in anticipation of the New Year. Yellow is associated with joy, optimism, and happiness, and wearing it is believed to invite good fortune and positivity into your life.


Congratulations, dear reader, for embarking on this mystical journey through the world of Hispanic and Mexican superstitions!

We hope you’ve enjoyed uncovering the fascinating and sometimes quirky beliefs that shape the lives of these communities. It’s truly remarkable how traditions passed down through generations continue to add a dash of fun and wonder to everyday life, reminding us of the rich cultural diversity that makes our world so unique.

So, whether you’re knocking on wood or eating grapes on New Year’s Eve, remember that these Latin American superstitions are all part of the fun variety of Hispanic traditions, making our world a more colorful and enchanting place.


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