8 Polish Superstitions & Beliefs

11 October 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
Unsplash: Nastya Dulhiier

Superstitious beliefs are plenty in various cultures and communities around us. And no matter how silly or strange or interesting they may sound to us, especially if we’ve never been exposed to them, we know that they have shaped and reshaped cultures and communities for ages. Poland is not exempt from these beliefs or practices, as there’s a list of them that are unique and specific to Polish culture. What are they? Let’s find out.

  1. Don’t get a haircut right before an important exam - Getting a haircut before an important exam will bring you a lot of problems for sure. This is due to the belief (or myth) that if you cut your hair right before an exam, you may lose some of the stuff that you learned.
  2. Marry in an “r” month - Set your wedding date in any month that has the letter “r” in its Polish name for lots of luck and love. The lucky months for a wedding are the following: marzec (March), czerwiec (June), sierpień (August), wrzesień (September), październik (October), and grudzień (December).
  3. Stay away from number 7 - According to Polish superstition, the number 7 is known to be a dangerous number because it looks like a scythe. By the way, a scythe is that thing that the Grim Reaper is believed to carry around. For this reason, many believe that the number 7 is associated with the Grim Reaper and death. Therefore, it must be stayed away from.
  4. Don’t count the pierogi - When the pierogies are still boiling, don’t ever count them. Because if you ever count the pierogies in the very hot pot, half of them will get torn and get stuck at the bottom of the very hot pot, leaving you with broken pierogies with fillings spilling out. Yikes.
  5. Place your right foot on the floor as soon as you wake up - As soon as you wake up and get out of bed, always step on your right foot to ensure a good and happy day. If you end up stepping on your left foot first, your day might turn out to be a bit awry or something like that.
  6. Ask the dwarves - Lost or misplaced something? Well, when this happens you can easily call the dwarves for help. And they will come out and help you find whatever you just lost or misplaced. All you have to do is step out of the room where you lost the stuff, close the door behind you, and say this phrase in a loud voice “Play and put away.” After that, whatever it is that you lost or misplaced will pop out. Thank you or dziękuję (thank you in Polish), dwarves.
  7. Don’t drop your notebook - Oh no, dropping a notebook suggests a surprise exam will be given to you on the material in that notebook. Drop a math notebook? A surprise math exam is coming right up. Drop a biology notebook? A surprise biology exam is expected to happen. So be careful when carrying your notebooks around.
  8. Don’t sit down when baking a cake - If you bake a cake, just make sure that you never sit down when the cake is in the oven. Because when you sit down and the cake is still in the oven, your cake will also “sit down.” This means that your cake will also sink in the middle and come out flat. And no one wants a sunken and flat cake. So whatever you do, don’t sit down when the cake is in the oven. Stay standing!