This Question Came to My Inbox: “What are some superstitions that Korean people believe?”

I may not know all of them, but I have encountered many of them. Here is a list:

1. If you are going to move, never clean the house you are moving out of. If you clean the house, you take the bad spirits with you.

When I moved in S. Korea, I used to work hard at cleaning before I moved out of a house until I realized it upset the people. They feel much better if you leave your house dirty. As an American, this was hard for me to get used to because I was always taught to take care of the next person. Photo by Rony Stephen Chowdhury on Pexels.com

2. Never write someone’s name in red. You only write the name of a dead person in red.

3. Never put your chopsticks straight up and down in your rice bowl because that means someone is dead. The Japanese have this superstition too. Lay your chopsticks on the side of your bowl.

Put your chopsticks on a bowl like this. Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

4. Eat seaweed soup on your birthday because it is healthy. The person who makes you seaweed soup on your birthday is wishing you a long life.

5. Never eat seaweed soup or anything slippery before a test because if you do, the test answers will slip away from you, and you will do badly on the test.

Eat something sticky when you take a test to make the answers stick. Don’t eat slippery things because it will make the answers slip away from you. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

6. Eat sticky things around test time so the answers will stick with you.

7. Eat seaweed soup while you are pregnant so when you go into labor, the baby will slip out easily.

Pigs are a symbol of wealth. That maybe where the piggy bank came from. Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

8. Pigs bring good luck.

When you get in an elevator and begin to push the number of the floor you want to go to there may not be a fourth floor button labeled, or it could have an F on the button. Photo by Martin Péchy on Pexels.com

9. If you get into an elevator in S. Korea, many of them don’t have the fourth floor marked. If it is marked, it is marked with an F rather than the number four. The number four is considered unlucky in S. Korea.

Toilet paper symbolizes long life. Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

10. If you want to wish someone a long life, give them toilet paper because it is long and all wrapped around the roll.

Cooking oil symbolizes riches. Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

11. If you want to wish someone riches give them cooking oil.

If you want someone to go away, give them shoes so they can walk away. Photo by Melvin Buezo on Pexels.com

12. If you want someone to go away and leave you alone, give them shoes so they can walk away. If you don’t want them to leave, never give them shoes.

There are probably more superstitions, but those are the ones I can think of right now.

Leave a Reply