13 strange superstitions for your Friday the 13th

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Friday the 13th is a notoriously unlucky day in our culture. BBC traced the day's notorious reputation back to the 1690s when Victorians combined superstitions surrounding Fridays with superstitions surrounding the number 13.

"Superstition comes from a time when life was uncertain and you felt you didn't have control,"  Steve Roud, author of "The Penguin Guide to the Superstitions of Britain and Ireland," told BBC.

"There became a notion of fate as being something you could control by doing lucky things or avoiding doing unlucky things," he said.

Cultural superstitions continue today in the form of everyday fears and even good luck charms for favorite sports teams.

Here are 13 superstitions from around the world to help you avoid an unlucky Friday the 13th:

  1.  LITHUANIA: Whistling indoors summons demons.
  2. GERMANY: If you cheers with water, you are actually death upon the people you're drinking with.
  3. ICELAND: Knitting outside can prolong winter.
  4. RUSSIA: Bird poop that lands on you or something that belongs to you will bring you wealth.
  5. FRANCE: Stepping in dog poop is lucky if you do it with your left foot.
  6. ITALY: If an owl ends up in your house, someone in your family will die.
  7. INDIA: Getting a haircut on Tuesdays brings bad luck.
  8. CANADA: Expectant mothers who are craving fish but don't eat it will end up having a baby with a fish head.
  9. KOREA: Nibbling asymmetrical food like strawberries while pregnant will lead to an ugly baby.
  10. TURKEY:  An itchy left palm means money is coming your way, an itchy right palm means you'll lose money soon.
  11. SYRIA: Yo-yos cause drought!
  12. NETHERLANDS: Singing at the dinner table means you are singing to the Devil for your food.
  13. JAPAN: Holding your thumbs towards a cemetery protects your parents.