Easily my favorite superstition for Romania is found in the ears of its inhabitants. A surprising number of people can be found on the streets with small balls of cotton or chunks of garlic shoved into their ears. (So common a thing, I dare to say that a good 20% or more of the population in Lugoj is doing this.) The theory is that shoving your ear canals full of cotton or garlic will keep illness away, as well as other miscellaneous ailments.
Here are a few others that I've uncovered:
- Romania's are bizarrely eccentric with cross breezes (referred to as "currents" locally). Rare it is to find someone what will allow both the train window and carriage door to be open simultaneously, or even a pair of vehicle windows. "Currents" are thought to be responsible for illnesses and toothaches, and often goes hand-in-hand with believers of cotton/garlic in the ear canals.
- When a black cat crosses your path, you must take three steps forward and three steps backward before continuing.
- When your horse is sick you should fill a bucket with water, drop a lit match into it, and give it to the animal to drink after family members have each drunk a glass.
- Sitting on concrete or the ground will make you sterile.
- Bathing with cold water can give you infections (especially pertains to women washing their genitals).
- For children, placing a postcard or an image of a destination inside a backpack for a few moments with the zipper shut brings good fortune that he or she will eventually visit that place.