Folkloristic Rituals and Superstitions
Marriage - To predict if a marriage will be successful, a bride, upon entering her new home, is asked to break a vine into three equal pieces. The pieces are planted outside the house. If they all sprout, the marriage will be a happy and fruitful one.
Children and Disabilities - Small children, who have trouble walking or learning to walk, are believed to be hindered in their efforts by an invisible tie between their feet. To solve this problem, a shoelace is wound around their ankles. Then, the oldest child of the family, or the first person to leave the mosque after Friday prayer, cuts the visible shoelace around the child's ankles, thus breaking the bad luck and the invisible shoelace.
Pregnancy and the Blackberry Tree - According to Black Sea folklore, one very simple remedy exists for the following three afflictions: a woman who has difficulties with pregnancy and fertility, a cow in the same situation and, strangely, children who wet their beds. The woman, the cow and the children must walk under a blackberry tree, and all will be well.
Sickness and Death - A last resort for the desperately ill is to look at the moon on a shovel. This custom has its origin in the pagan worship of the moon as a god who either cures or takes a life. It is unknown, however, why a wooden shovel is used. In addition, after a death, it is wise to keep the light on all night.
Nazar Beads - This glass bead in the teardrop shape of an eye is a common sight in modern Turkey. A good luck charm, the bead's stare is said to frighten away the evil eye.
Mirrors - A superstition common to several cultures, perhaps its origins lie in Turkey --- breaking a mirror will bring seven years' bad luck. A less common belief is that mirrors can capture souls, and when not using your mirror you should turn it to the wall --- just to be on the safe side.
Other Superstitions - Don't give a friend a knife --- it will cut your friendship. Also, don't tell your dreams before breakfast if you want them to come true (tell your nightmares instead!). To ward off bad fate and bad luck, you can knock on wood twice, making two kissing noises, or tugging each earlobe.