World's Weirdest Superstitions

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Chris Selby / Alamy

Understanding local superstitions can help you avoid a faux pas—and maybe improve your luck, too.

Kissing the Blarney Stone, Ireland

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The word blarney came to mean flattery because of the grand tales surrounding the stone’s powers. Its past can be traced back a millennium, during which people have constantly bickered over its ownership. The bluestone block eventually became a symbol of eloquence, persuasiveness, and good luck (though different legends persist as to why). Hoping for those gifts to rub off on them, visitors line up to kiss the stone, which is more challenging than you might realize. Blarney Castle employs staff to help you get into the necessary upside-down position.

World's Weirdest Superstitions

Kissing the Blarney Stone, Ireland

The word blarney came to mean flattery because of the grand tales surrounding the stone’s powers. Its past can be traced back a millennium, during which people have constantly bickered over its ownership. The bluestone block eventually became a symbol of eloquence, persuasiveness, and good luck (though different legends persist as to why). Hoping for those gifts to rub off on them, visitors line up to kiss the stone, which is more challenging than you might realize. Blarney Castle employs staff to help you get into the necessary upside-down position.

Chris Selby / Alamy
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