Evel Eye: The belief in the Evil Eye is an ancient superstition that you will meet in many cultures around the Mediterranean sea, Arabia, Turkey, Greece and all the way to India. In Greece these belief is dating back to at least the 6th century BC. In the Greco-Roman period a scientific explanation of the evil eye was common. Amongst Greek superstitions, the Evil Eye is one of the oldest and widely believed myths. The Evil Eye is known widely throughout Greece and the Greek Islands. The Greek Orthodox Church also believes in the evil eye, and they refer to it as "Vaskania".
In Greek history, Evil Eye charms can be traced to Ancient Greece. Paintings found on Greek triremes over two thousand years old, feature an Eye painted at the front of the trireme in an attempt to ward off the Evil Eye and protect the trireme while at sea.
The Evil Eye (Lucky Eye) belief is that a person can harm you, your children, your livestock, or your fruit trees, by “looking at them” with envy and praising them. In Greece, the most common form of these talismans is the blue glass Eye charm, which mirrors back the blue of the Evil Eye and thus confounds it.
Greeks hang little blue eyes around their necks and wrists. You can get these in almost any jewelry or souvenir shop. Blue stones are also good, since the colour blue is considered a protective colour. The reason the color blue and the painted eye are used is that both are thought to ward off the evil of the eye.
In Greece, wherever you look, you'll meet plenty of eyes looking at you. Today, it its impossible walk through a Greek jewelry or gift store without encountering blue glass Evil Eyes in many sizes and shapes.
Garlic: Garlic is another way to ward off the evil eye, and one can sometimes see it hanging in a corner of some houses. Garlic, as well as onion, is also considered of having a great healing power by many Greeks. If someone is feeling ill, they will advice him to eat garlic.
Bread: In villages, bread is considered as a gift of God; old women bless the bread and make the sign of the cross with a knife before slicing it.
The expression “Piase kokkino”: When 2 people say the same thing together they immediately say “piase kokkino” which means red touch, one another and both have to touch any red item they can find around him / her. This happens because Greeks believe that saying the same thing is an omen and that the 2 persons will get into a fight or an argument if they don’t touch a red thing.
Spiting: Some Greeks believe that spitting chases the devil and the misfortune away. That is why when someone talk about bad news (deaths, accidents, diseases etc…) the others slightly spit three times saying “ftou”. Another example is that someone that compliments a baby, a child or even an adult for its beauty, has also to spit 3 times on the complimented person.
Knives: Greeks never hand knives to someone who asks for it for they consider that if they do that they will have a fight or argument with the person. Therefore they set it down on the table or somewhere and let the other person take it her / him hand.
Priest: Greek Orthodox priests ( popes ) are very revered and the custom is to kiss a priest’s hand in respect when meeting one, today this custom is only followed in small villages. But it is believed that seeing a black cat and a priest during the same day is bad luck.
Bat Bone: For some Island folk, bat bones are considered to be very lucky. These people carry a small bit of the bone in their pockets or purses with them where ever they go. The only problem is getting the bone as it is supposed to be very bad luck to kill a bat.
Cactus: No Greek home would be complete with out at least 1 cactus positioned somewhere close the front entrance. Cactus with its thorny spikes, takes it place proudly warding off the evil eye from the property.
Crow: Crows are considered omens of bad news, misfortune, disease and death. When you see or hear a crow cawing, you say go well into the day and bring me good news ( in greek language "Sto Kalo, Sto Kalo, Kala Nea na me Feris" )
Tuesday the 13th: Different from Western cultures, it is Tuesday the 13th of the month that is considered unlucky in Greece and not Friday the 13th .
Sneezing: According to greek superstition if you sneeze, it means that someone is talking about you. If you want to know who is he/she, there is a way you can find out. Ask someone around you to give you a 3 digit number. Count each digit together and then count down the alphabet. Whatever letter it falls on, is the initial of the person that is talking about you.
Overturned shoes: Overturned shoes are considered very bad luck and even omens of death. Never let your shoes lay upside down. If you accidentally take them off and they land soles up, turn them over immediately and say ‘Skorda ( garlic )’ and a spit or two won’t hurt either.
Salt: In Greek Folklore, salt can be used to get rid of an unwanted human presence. If you have an unwanted guest in your home and you want him / her to leave. All you have to do is sprinkle salt behind them. The powers of the salt will chase him / her out. It is also customary to sprinkle salt in a new house before you occupy it, as the salt will drive any evil out and away from you and your family.
Money: Greeks believe that Money attracts money, so they never leave their pockets, purses or wallets completely empty and never completely empty their bank account. Always greeks leave at least 1 coin or 2. It is also considered good luck that when you give a gift of a wallet or a purse, that you put 1 coin or 2 in it before giving it to the recipient.
Fish: Fish are believed to be wise and knowledgeable. But the Church also sees the fish as a revered symbol of silence. Fish don’t speak or make noise.