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The Traveller's Magazine
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What better way to celebrate Friday the 13th than this more than creepy deal to New Zealand. Appropriate or overkill? In any case, Air China will fly you from London Heathrow to Auckland for £666 via Taipei from September 24th to October 18th, 2011.

Whether you believe in Friday the 13th or not, superstitions are an essential part of cultural traditions around the world, including New Zealand. If you plan to visit Auckland this year, then make sure you read up on their cultural superstitions before you go walking underneath a ladder or letting a black cat cross your path.

5 New Zealand superstitions every traveller should know

  • Whistling first thing in the morning is said to bring back luck, whistling at sea brings windy storms, whistling back-stage at a theatre is just an invitation for ‘cat calls’ and whistling in a mine could make it collapse. You might also see dog owners snapping their fingers instead of whistling, so as not to attract unwanted evil spirits.
  • Cutting your nails is not something we give much though to but it can apparently have serious repercussions if you do it on the wrong day of the week:

Cut your nails on Monday, cut them for wealth;
Cut them on Tuesday, cut them for health;
Cut them on Wednesday, cut them for news;
Cut them on Thursday, a new pair of shoes;
Cut them on Friday, cut them for woe;
Cut them on Saturday, a journey to go.
Cut them on Sunday, cut them for evil,
For all the next week, you’ll be ruled by the devil.

  • Don’t pick blueberries after the 10th of October because it is believed that the devil has dragged his tail over them.
  • Much like Midsummer Eve in Sweden, New Zealanders also believe that unmarried girls will dream of their future husband on Midsummer Eve if they walk seven times around a church in a clockwise direction, looking over their left shoulder, sowing hempseed and repeating:

Hempseed I sow
Hempseed I mow
Let him that is my true love
Come after me and mow.

  • Finally, sneezing. Many believed in older times that sneezing was a bad omen, a sign of the soul leaving the body (which explains why we say, ‘God bless you’). If you sneeze three times in a row however it’s a prediction that good luck is coming. It’s not safe to sneeze everyday though,

Sneeze on Monday, sneeze for danger;
Sneeze on Tuesday, kiss a stranger;
Sneeze on Wednesday, get a letter;
Sneeze on Thursday, something better;
Sneeze on Friday, sneeze for sorrow;
Sneeze on Saturday, see your true love tomorrow.
Sneeze on Sunday, your safety seek,
Or the devil will have you the rest of the week.

Do believe in superstitions? What cultural superstitions come from your culture?

Img: WTL photos / Flickr cc.

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