Unique Korea Superstitions And Beliefs In Korea Culture!
In this article we will share to you informations about unique korea superstitions and beliefs that you can find in South Korean Culture. While South Korea is advance in technology, automobile and entertainment industry, korea was actually once rooted deeply in spiritual stuff like shamanism.
You can find it when you see korean select spouse based on zodiac, age, and even when they name their baby, starting a new business, moving house, and many others. While some of you already knew that fortune teller is really famous in south korea, there are a lot of things you have no idea exist in south korea in which one of them are superstitions and unique belief that still believed by most korean today.
Whistling at night summons spirits
Most of western might think that whistling is a sign of someone happiness or good feeling, as many people whistle of a song they like when they felt excited or happy. However, it is totally the opposite for korean people, especially when you do it at night after the sun goes down.
Koreans believe that whistling at night will summon evil spirit and all kinds of demons or ghost that you can imagine. Other than that, some logical locals still think it might invite or provoke snakes to appear to you.
Giving shoes to your partner will make them run away
Young koreans believe that if they give shoes to their partner, it will cause you to break up with your partner. So if your partner give you a shoes, it might be hint that he or she want to break up with you. However, if you don’t want to break up, make sure you never give your korean couple shoes.
Moving on certain days is bad luck
Moving house on some certain days or month can bring a really bad luck as they believe that at some certain days and month, evil spirit will follow you to your new place that will cause a lot of problem later on in life.
The fun facts behind this is that they believe if you are moving on certain days and month, it will prevented the ghost from going to heavens and so they will follow you to your new house. Koreans follow the calendar named “손없는날 달력” (soneomneunnal dallyeok | evil spirit-free day calendar).
손 (son) means “evil spirit.” Make sure you stay away from the dates on the calendar with “손없는날 (soneomneunnal)” written on it.
Electric fan can kill you
Koreans believe that active fan can be the cause of many people death, they called it Seonpoonggi samangseol (“fan death”). This actually started back then in 1927, when a story was published in a national newspaper warned people that new technology came with medical risk such as nausea, facial paralysis and asphyxiation.
However, some people suggest the fan death myth was a propaganda made by the government to limit the use of electricity during the 1970s energy crisis. Nevertheless, koreans still believe in this superstitions and stories surrounding this fan death continues to crop up in korean media especially in summer season.
Korean Taffy 엿 (yeot) makes it stick
엿 (yeot) is traditional Korean taffy made from glutinous rice. The idea of it brings good luck is that because korean taffy is really sticky, so they believe this will cause good luck to stick to you.
Other than good luck, eating korean taffy엿 (yeot) while studying will help knowledge stick in the your mind, so many students eat this before they study to help them memorizing the lesson they’re studying.
Beautiful Food means Beautiful Kids
Some koreans believe that the food appearance contributes to your kids appearance. For example, if you take a look at sliced Kimbap, the middle pieces are more organized and appealing. So if a mother eats the middle pieces while she is pregnant, then her child will be good looking and organized.
Don’t touch your eyes after touching a butterfly
During Summer seasons, there are a lot of insects in which one of them are butterflies. Korean kids love to play and catch butterflies and usually their parents will tell them not to touch their eyes after touching a butterfly as it can cause blindness.
This is a unique belief that not based on superstitions, but science. Butterflies have pollen on their body and wings in which if you rub it into your eyes, it will cause an allergic reactions. However, korean parents tell their kids that it might cause blindness because it will be more effective in making their children to submit to what they said and be more careful with it.
Korean Good Luck Charms Talisman
Korean, just like many other asian countries, associate some objects with luck and fortune, and some others with bad luck. The good example for this is the Pujok, a yellow piece of paper with symbols and patterns inscribed on it. Koreans believe that this talisman could drive away evil spirit and bring good fortune to their life.
Jumping Over Babies Keep Them Short
Korean superstitions said that if you jump over your baby, then it will stop the child’s growth. In other words, they won’t grow tall. This belief was created as it’s super dangerous to jump over a baby, so this superstitions was created to prevent harm to babies as many people were accidentally fall or step on the baby.
Other than jumping over babies, they also believe that people should not measure a sleeping baby as it is similar to measuring a corpse for the coffin. This belief was originated back then in the past when many babies died before they reach 100 days old.
Washing your hair washes away good luck
Especially during New year’s day, south korean people will not wash their hair on this day as they believed it will wash away the good luck from them. Other than new year’s day, workers who will doing interview or student who will have a test usually doesn’t wash their hair as it will wash away the good luck and the knowledge they’ve gain during their study.
Apples Before Bed cause poisoned
This is more based on science rather than superstitions. This belief came from the fact that eating food before bedtime will cause a bad indigestion and acid reflux. However, the fact is that apple contain natural acids to help reduce acid reflux symptomp and indigestion, totally opposite with what koreans believe.
Dreaming of pigs will bring you wealth
We can see this from Squid game movie, as the money was put inside the piggy bank above the contestant. This is because korean believe that pig is a symbol of good luck, wealth and fortune. Korean also believe that if you dream of pigs, then you will receive a good news related to wealth, career, or promotion.
Korean Lucky Numbers
We all knew that number 4 in Korea and many asian country is related to death and bad luck, originated back then from china as the word for 4 and death is the same word with different tone. However, korea also have numbers that related to a good luck. Number 7, 8, 9 and 3 considered to bring good luck.
Leg Shaking cause good luck to fly away
In ancient korean culture, legs is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. By shaking your legs, this makes your good luck, wealth and prosperity fly away from you. This is actually rooted from unethical manner especially during meeting, lunch or dinner with strangers or people older than you as this manner shows disrespect to those who see it.
Koreans usually say “다리 떨면 복 나간다” (dari tteolmyeon bok naganda), which means good luck float away. This came from a story of Kim Bong Nak during Joseon Era that love to annoy his mother by sitting and shaking his legs in front of his mother until his mother said 다리 떨면 복 나간다.
Writing names in red ink is a death threat
Back then in the past, red ink was only use to write the names of the deceased. Therefore, by writing someone’s name in red ink, just same like they had either passed away or wishing them to die soon.
You can write other words in red ink, however, you can never write someone’s name in red ink as this is super rude to do so.
The Crow's Cry
Crows by itself are considered a bad luck because koreans believe that they are messengers of the dead and the living. When crow cries, it shows sign of death for those around it. It came from the fact that crows aren’t just eat living species but also usually eat the dead.
Setting foot on a threshold can bring misfortune
This belief actually originated back then during the invasion of Mongol to Goryeo Korea. Back then, the deceased body would remain in home for some time before carried out of the house in a coffin. Once a coffin crossed over the threshold of front door, the boundary between the living and afterlife has been crossed. Therefore, it shows a bad luck for a living person to step on it, as it just felt like crossing over to the realm of the dead.
The 12th Reflection
This is a korean belief that if you count 12 reflections in the mirror then you will die. Reflection 12, even though it might looks exactly like you, it is actually a spirit. This is famous especially among elevators as it have mirrors on all 4 sides and created 360 degree reflections with multi dimentional image. Just make sure you don’t count 12 reflections on it.
Don’t put a mirror in front of a door
While many of us worry to have a broken mirror, Koreans belief that put a mirror in front of a door is just deflect good luck from coming into the house or a room.
These were some korean superstitions we can share to you and hopefully it will really valuable to you. Most of this superstitions is just totally based on baseless myth that you don’t need to believe.