wheat nails

Some of the Bosnian superstitions and folk beliefs

It isn’t Good


It isn’t good to take something out of house on Jurjevo. Snakes will start manifesting.
Don’t sleep on Jurjev Dan, you’ll be sleepy and lazy all year.
It isn’t good to seed vegetables on Thursday, bugs will eat it all.
It isn’t good to leave a baby alone without scissors or knife near the baby, fairies will replace it.
It isn’t good to cuddle tired children, they’ll get sick. It isn’t good to hang baby clothes outside at night. Child will get “Vrisak” (also known as Kriksa) .
It isn’t good to cut nails and throw them anywhere, you’ll collect them on the other world.
It isn’t good to wash clothes on Friday, housekeeper will die.
It isn’t good to wash clothes on washboard laundry bat on Friday and Tuesday, thunder will strike you.
It isn’t good to take shower between Maghrib and Isha prayer. Can get black spells.
It isn’t good to beat male children with rolling pin, women will leave him in life.
It isn’t good that can with water stays overnight uncovered, demons wash legs and spit in it.
It isn’t good for woman to sit on sack, she’ll give birth to too many children.
It isn’t good to cover children with parents’ clothes, they’ll get epilepsy.
It isn’t good to shake out tablecloths after the supper, demons come and eat the crumbs.
It isn’t good when a cat walks over dead person, will become a vampire.
It isn’t good for child to sleep between parents, will “naograjsati” (to get black magic, to get influenced/possessed by demon, spirit etc).
It isn’t good to come near water without some wood or live coal at night, fairies could steal you away. It isn’t good to change a hoe, your back will hurt.
It isn’t good to give reaping hook from hand to hand. You’ll get cut.
It isn’t good to eat off knife, you’ll get sick/die.
It isn’t good to pour water over someone’s arm, you’ll stomach will hurt.
It isn’t good to look at yourself in the mirror at night, you’ll get possessed.
It isn’t good for women to pass in front of carriage, won’t have luck.
It isn’t good to throw walnut husk in fire, there’ll be fight in house.
It isn’t good to go back home if something suddenly scares you - you will get sick.
It isn’t good to carry fire from the village to heater. The hawks will take chicken!
It isn’t good to go on “drvenjak” (place where people cut wood) at night, you’ll get possessed.
 It isn’t good to inoculate hen when the linden trees bloom, the chicken will be ill.
It isn’t good to cut nails at someone else’s house, there’ll be fight in the house.
It isn’t good to cut coiled trees, children will die. It isn’t good to dream of clear water, it means tears.
It isn’t good to dream snakes, you’ll have many enemies.
It isn’t good to dream of walnut, there’ll be fight in the house.
It isn’t good to breastfeed child while there are thunderstorms outside, the thunder will strike.
It isn’t good to wind up hank yank towards you, bad luck.
It isn’t good to sleep with money near you, you’ll get possessed.
It isn’t good say thanks to the man who sells you flowers. Flowers won’t grow at your place.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to kill children, child will have smelly mouth.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to look at fire, child will have red face.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to sit on washboard, child will be ugly.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to step over vine or thread, child will strangle on birth.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to carry eggs in, child will be snotty.
It isn’t good for pregnant woman to sit on doorstep, she’ll have hard labour. 

Folk Medicine


If someone has eczema, as a cure someone would take ash in water, then put finger in it saying following words: “Njiva, lišaj, maslo sjeme, maslo se raziđe lišaj priđe.”
If child would cry a lot while his teeth are growing, it was said to put some rice in water.
When child would get the first tooth out, it was common to put it on attic.
If the child would cry too much, they’d bath it with water from the lake or river.
If a woman who gave birth wants the next child to be of opposite gender, the first maslenica (a dish) people bring her on babine (traditional visits when woman gives birth), she’d flip upside down, and then eat 2 pieces.
Yew tree was used as protection against black magic.
 If child was too fearful, a piece from scarecrow’s clothes would be sewn onto the child’s pillow.
If child was seriously ill, before sunrise, parents would take the child ont the road and “sell it”. The one who holds the child, tells those who pass: “Can I sell you this child?”, the person takes the child, gives him new name and gives back to mother. Then mother says thanks. If the child is bothered in dream by “Mora”, near the child you should put some sort of tools and say: “Take this tool instead of the child.”
If someone has migraines, you should take spider’s “hair” and sew it on their hat.

Other beliefs


When mare gives birth, on the foal’s ear, one should put a wooden spoon around its neck. So it is saved from bad spells.
If on Prozuk (A Pagan feast that Bosnian Muslims in some regions practice instead of Christmas) person who visit house is a man, all children born in that house that year will be boys.
If it is a woman, it will be girls. Before Jurjevo, one should make cattle pass between two fires.
So they’re saved from spells.
Spruce should be kept in house, as protection from Mora.
You shouldn’t cut child’s nails before they reach age of one, but instead, put its hands in fresh wheat, the nails will fall of by themselves.
 After a wedding, food that was left behind groom and bride should be dug under the ground. It was believed couple would have bad luck if food was eaten by the animals.
 If there were strong winds, a piece from ram’s horn was thrown in fire.
 If there was hail, the youngest child should eat a tiny piece of ice. It was believed it would stop that way.