This week’s insane SUPERSTAR jackpot got us thinking about life and luck. Black cats and broken mirrors might be internationally-recognised omens of bad luck but Malta has its fair share of spooky and downright silly superstitions.
Here are seven of Malta’s strangest superstitions that many islanders still believe in.
1. Spilling wine is actually a good omen
OK, so you’re at a lunch, wearing your favourite (and obviously white or light blue) outfit, sitting across the table from your kunjata, and in between the excited banter and the constant commotion, you end up spilling wine.
Some of it goes all over the tablecloth, and of course some of it ruins your perfectly fine (and probably expensive) outfit… not to mention your kunjata’s new blouse. Well, your gut reaction might be rage (and infinite shame), but don’t worry; if this one superstition is to believed, what you’ve done is actually invoked a good omen. Go figure.
2. Killing a black moth will give you bad luck
Look, we know moths are basically edgy nocturnal butterflies, but there are a lot of people out there who just don’t like the furry fliers. Add a menacing black coating to the mix, and you’re looking at a lot of people who will gladly kill the fluttering moths.
If you’re one for superstitions, though, we’d recommend rethinking that swatting; turns out killing a black moth will actually give you bad luck. Although to be very honest, this sounds like a rumour started by the moth themselves.
3. Having a pigeon sh*t on you is a good thing
Yes, really. At least, if you’re superstitious.
There’s a certain unholy coincidence and irritating irony to when this happens. Normally, it’s while you’re walking into Valletta wearing a full suit, probably already feeling hot and sweaty.
This sticky icing on the cake is enough to push even the calmest islander over the edge, but fret not; it turns out the sh*tty episode is actually a sign of good things to come. Good luck convincing people who come face-to-face with you and that new statement piece sitting on your shoulder though.
4. A woman on her period cannot work in a bakery or vineyard
As in, she can. But she’ll end up ruining the taste of the finished produced. Just by literally being present. Cool.
Turns out there’s one thing that’s even more frustrating than implying a woman is having a bad day because she’s on her period… and it’s telling her to get out because she’s going to spoil the next batch of vino.
6. Putting a colourful eye on your boat will protect you from evil
One of Malta’s most beautiful traditions is also quite strange when you really think about it.
Believed to be a contemporary nod at Osiris (or Horus) – the Phoenician god of protection from evil – the eyes can be seen on the front of countless colourful luzzus all over the island.
From the southern fishing village of Marsaxlokk to the northern coastal area of St. Paul’s Bay, many a bright fishing boat has its own set of decorated eyes, making the traditional luzzu look like a hilarious – and very colourful – sea unicorn.
7. Having a set of ‘magic numbers’ increases your chances of winning the lottery
Sure, it’s random and there’s a very long list of possible combinations, but no: we’ll stick to our own favourite set of digits, thank you very much.
This superstition is very popular in Malta, with people choosing combinations based on their birthday, number of children, or even house number. Throw numbers like 3, 7 and 13 in the mix, and you’re looking at a constant juggle between lucky and unlucky ‘magic numbers’.
It’s all taken one step further on that one special (read: sad) day when you don’t play your numbers and some of them actually are drawn! See, maybe they were magic after all.
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