Colombian culture combines the wisdom of indigenous tribes, Spanish conquerors and African slaves and some beliefs have passed down through the centuries. Here are our favorites:
New Year’s Eve
December 31st holds more superstitions than any other day of the year. Many Colombians eat twelve grapes at midnight (making a wish each time) clean their home to welcome positive change, hold lentils to ensure they will not go hungry, carry a suitcase to encourage travel and wear yellow underwear to encourage wealth. (You may also enjoy: Colombia’s Myths and Legends)
Lovers beware, there is a strong Colombian tradition that dictates that unmarried couples who summit Bogota’s favorite mountain together will never be wed. That’s a pity for romantics, who want to enjoy the picturesque path to the top of Monserrate, the cable car and the restaurants with the best views in the city, but must wait until they are married.
Colombia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful butterflies but there is one large, brown or black variety that strikes fear into the heart of all superstitious Colombians. The presence of a dark butterfly, usually a moth, in a home is said to indicate that someone close to the family will pass away.
In what is probably the most practical superstition of all, there is a strong Colombian belief that placing a handbag or a purse on the floor must be avoided. It is said to mean all your money will “run away” which is why Colombian women, in particular, always opt to hang their purses on hooks or put them in their office drawers. (You can also read: Colombia’s top five souvenirs)
A Helping Hand
Many superstitions center around Colombia’s elaborate city cemeteries. In Bogota’s central cemetery, for example, it is said that Bavaria brewery founder Leo Kopp will help with financial problems if you whisper in his statue’s ear. Others believe that laying a blue candle before the tomb of famed astronomer Julio Garavito will achieve the same. (You may also enjoy: Colombia’s monetary heroes)
It’s clear that when it comes to beliefs and superstitions to cure any problem, the answer is Colombia. If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or any of your social networks.