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Jul 28

Passenger Vehicle

Crazy or Cautious? 5 Weird Car Traditions from Around the World

Are you one of those people who thinks it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder? Or to see a black cat cross your path? Have you ever stopped to wonder where these superstitions originated from or what they really mean? Whether you’re the superstitious type or not, some of these weird traditions are age-old and practiced all over the world. And get this – they extend to cars and driving too! Check out 5 of the weirdest car traditions and superstitions from their country of origin.

1. France

When we think of France, we think of good wine, art and romance. Right? But legend has it that in this country’s past, friends would noisily serenade a just-married couple outside their home with pots and pans until the newlyweds invited them in for refreshments. Today, this tradition has evolved to tying tins to the back of the wedding car (probably because of less-tolerant neighbours!). Who knew that this noisy and embarrassing practice had its roots in one of the most sophisticated countries of the world?!

2. Ancient Europe

If you’re scared of ghosts then this is a car custom you probably follow. Or will now.  According to Biblical folklore, if you don’t hold your breath when you drive past a cemetery, the evil spirits of the dead can enter your body. Scary, huh? Alternatively, the more scientific minds state that the tradition probably originated to prevent inhaling the bacteria prevalent in the air around cemeteries. Fact or fiction? You decide.

3. China

When he said ‘Keep the change’, he didn’t mean keep it under the driver’s seat! But that’s exactly what some people do – it’s supposed to bring the driver luck. It does have the added benefit of just reaching under your seat when you need some loose change to help the needy, to buy something off a street vendor or even to pay the toll! Known as ‘Car Coining’, this tradition originated in China but is blindly followed by many all over the world.

4. India

When life gives you lemons, make sure to save some for your car! That’s four lemons – one for each wheel. Why? An Indian tradition has drivers crushing lemons under the wheels of their new car to prevent accidents in the future. Of course, you could also try driving carefully to prevent accidents but hey, what the hell!

5. Unknown Origin

Nobody really knows where this one originated but according to folklore, if you lift your feet while driving over railroad tracks, it will bring you good luck. And if you don’t, you will lose your sweetheart. Umm, ok! Believe it or not, this tradition is even documented in the James T. Callow Folklore Archive.

On a more serious note, if you really want to stay safe while driving, regular car maintenance and careful driving should do the trick!

Have a car crazy superstition? Share in comments below.

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