11 Interesting Croatian Superstitions You Must Know

Croatian Superstitions

Are you about to travel to Croatia or merely interested in Croatian superstitions? Then you must know the things you should avoid as you step into this country. Amidst the Mediterranean beauty, the Croatian superstitions range from the mystical red thread guarding against evil to garlic’s magical prowess against malevolent spirits. These charming customs are great to learn because they offer a unique glimpse into Croatia’s heart. Let’s begin!

Superstitions In Croatian

Croatian superstitions, or “praznovjerja,” weave a captivating tapestry of beliefs deeply entrenched in the country’s rich cultural heritage and folklore. These intriguing customs often intertwine elements of Christianity with ancient pagan traditions, forging a distinct and diverse set of practices. Among them, the ominous “zlo oko,” or evil eye, lingers as the most popular one, where envy or “zavist” and jealousy or “ljubomora” are believed to wield harm upon individuals and their belongings.

To shield themselves from this malevolent gaze, many Croatians rely on amulets or employ symbolic gestures like spitting to repel negativity. Additionally, animal-related superstitions, such as the belief that black cats bring misfortune, thrive in Croatian folklore, adding further depth to this enigmatic realm of beliefs and customs that continues to shape modern Croatian culture.

Most Popular Superstitions In Croatian

Evil eye

Evil Eye (Zlo Oko)

The belief in the “evil eye” holds a captivating sway. Envy and jealousy, it is believed, have the power to inflict harm upon others. To shield against this ominous gaze, Croatians often adorn themselves with a protective blue or red string on their wrists and place a captivating blue eye-shaped amulet, known as a “nazar,” in their homes.

Salt Spilling

A simple accident can take on a mystical twist. The act of spilling salt is considered a harbinger of bad luck. To counteract this misfortune, locals perform a charming ritual: with a deft flick of their right hand, they toss a pinch of salt or “sol” over their left shoulder.

Black Cats

Much like in various cultures, black cats or “crne mačke” are often linked with bad luck. The mere sight of one crossing your path is thought to usher in misfortune. So, keep an eye out for these mysterious cats!

Woman with Tissue Sneezing


When someone sneezes, it’s customary to respond with a warm “Nazdravlje,” meaning “to your health.” This polite gesture isn’t just etiquette; it’s believed that failing to do so may invite a touch of bad luck. So, in Croatia, good manners and a sprinkle of superstition go hand in hand, creating moments of cultural richness in everyday life.

Number 13

Here, buildings often skip the 13th floor, and many prefer to steer clear of significant events on the 13th day of the month, particularly if it coincides with a fateful Friday. This shared belief in the mystique of 13 connects Croatia with a global tapestry of superstitions, where numbers can hold the power to influence our choices and decisions.

Hand knocking on wood

Knocking On Wood

Knock! Knock! In Croatia, as in many corners of the world, the age-old practice of knocking on wood reigns supreme. When folks want to ensure that misfortune steers clear, their fingers tap upon wooden surfaces. It’s a charming superstition that adds a touch of whimsy to daily life, reminding us that sometimes, a simple tap on wood can keep the shadows of bad luck at bay.


Just woke up from sleep and had a vivid dream? Well, dreams take center stage as potential glimpses into the future. Here, some firmly believe that dreams hold the power to unveil forthcoming events or bestow valuable guidance. It’s a captivating belief that adds a layer of wonder to the nightly journey into the world of dreams, where the past, present, and future may intertwine in the most enchanting ways.

Crows And Ravens

Crows and ravens are frequently interpreted in Croatian folklore as indications of poor fortune or demise. It is thought that hearing their sounds or spotting them close to your home is a harbinger of imminent bad luck.

New Year’s Traditions

There are many New Year’s Eve superstitions practiced by Croats. It is customary to let the old year in and the new one out at midnight by opening all the doors and windows. Some people also use loud noises or the burning of an effigy to frighten away evil spirits.

Crumbs Bread Leftover Food Waste

Bread Superstitions

In Croatian tradition, dropping or throwing away bread is rude. Bread is thought to represent life, and throwing it away can bring ill luck.

Wedding Ring

Wedding Superstitions

Along with wedding traditions, Croatia has a number of superstitions surrounding weddings. For instance, seeing the bride before the wedding ceremony is seen to be unlucky. Rain on a wedding day is also considered a good omen since it represents fertility.

Words Related To Croatian Superstitions

Superstitions are like the spicy seasoning in the rich stew of Croatian traditions and beliefs. So, dive into these words and customs, and you’ll not only level up your language skills but also get a front-row seat to Croatia’s superstitions and understand it better!

English Croatian
Black catCrna mačka
Evil eyeZlo oko
Lucky charmSretan amulet
Friday the 13thPetak trinaesti
Four-leaf cloverČetverolisna djetelina
Knock on woodKlopati po drvetu
Full moonPuno mjeseca
New moonMladi mjesec
Cross your fingersPrekrižiti prste
Rabbit’s footZecova šapa
Broken mirrorRazbijeno ogledalo
Lucky numberSretan broj

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