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The Strange Beliefs Some Iraqis Hold From Cradle to Grave

05 Jan 2016


All around the world odd customs and beliefs colour everyday life, and Iraqis are no different. While many are treated light-heartedly, some are widely held to have some truth. Here we present Yalla’s top twenty.

1. Leaving scissors open will cause a fight.

2. If a young woman eats directly from the cooking pot, she will get married on a rainy day.

3. A mirror broken by a woman will cause bad luck, unless she breaks with her feet - then she can expect an imminent proposal of marriage!

4. Another rule for superstitious women - don’t shower late at night, as you will get married later in life, if at all.

5. When a child loses a tooth, they should throw it at the sun, in the hope of a more beautiful one replacing it; it’s common to say, “Dear Sun please take these teeth of a donkey and give me the teeth of a deer!”

6. The offer of a glass of tea with two spoons indicates that you’re going to get married twice.

7. Crows are a sign of a bad luck - should you see one, you must say “knife and salt” to protect yourself.

8. If two birds are fighting on your door, guests are on their way.

9. If your right hand begins itching, lucky you - money is on its way. Of course, if your left hand is itching, be prepared to say goodbye to some dinars.

10. Itchy feet however, means someone is talking about you - the right foot means the conversation is complimentary, but the left means the opposite.

11. To indicate that they have finished using a prayer mat, people often just bend the corner over, to signify the next person can use it.

12. Upside down flip flops are a sin.

13. When sacrificing an animal, whether for food or to God, some blood should be brushed on a nearby surface to prevent the envy of others.

14. Pour water on the ground after a favoured guest leaves to ensure their return.

15. Throw seven stones after a less-favoured guest so they never comeback!

16. If you keep a rabbit at home it will cause poverty.

17. Black cats are a sign of bad luck, especially if they are seen in the evening.

18. Some believe that cutting down a walnut tree will surely condemn a member of the household to death.

19. Use henna for good luck.

20. There are two reasons for pinching in Iraqi customs - if two girls say the same thing at the same time, the first to pinch the other will marry a better man, and if a bride pinches a girl at a wedding, she will be the next to get married.


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