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Greek Superstition: 

 

The Evil Eye

This is by far the most famous of all Greek superstitions with very old roots in Hellenic culture from the time of paganism.  Paintings of Greek triremes over two thousand years ago have an eye painted at the front of the trireme in an attempt to ward off the Evil Eye.  The Evil Eye is known widely throughout Greece and the  Greek Islands.  The Evil Eye is said to be able to strike anywhere without notice and no one can be the wiser. 

Think back to a time when someone complemented you on how nice you looked only for you to have a painful headache immediately after. Happenings such as this are attributed to the Evil Eye.

To ward off the Evil Eye several things can be done.  An eye is painted into the middle of a blue charm, this charm is then worn as a necklace or as a bracelet.  Blue beads can also be  worn instead of the eye charm in the form of a necklace or bracelet. The reason the color blue and the painted eye are used is that both are thought to ward off the evil of the eye.  Unfortunately people who have blue eyes are thought to be exceptional givers of it. In such, believers of the Evil Eye are weary of compliments received from a blue eyed person.

It is also said that a clove of garlic has the ability to ward of the evil eye.  Many people keep the clove of garlic in their clothes or in their pockets.

It is customary for Greeks to spit towards someone if they pay them a compliment. Sometimes they will spit three times, a symbolism of the using of the Holy Trinity to defend against the eye.  This custom of spitting has its roots in the Evil Eye.  The spitting  is an attempt to ward of the evil of the eye.

The Greek Orthodox Church also believes in the evil eye, and they refer to it as "Vaskania".  There are people who are said to know how to remove the eye from someone who is affected.  The Greek Orthodox church strictly forbids this.  The church sees this as dangerous ground, and only a priest has the power to read a person in an attempt to remove the eye. However, Greeks openly practice the removing off the eye against the wishes of the Church.  The church fears that attempts to remove the eye can result in possession.  Believers of the evil eye should understand that the person who is attempting to remove the eye should be using the method that  the church uses, and not some custom that has been passed down generation to generation. Many of the readings that are passed down have their roots in paganism and do not adhere to Orthodoxy, the church attempts to guard against these readings.

Watch out for that Evil Eye!

Other Superstitions:  

  • Kalikatzaroi Learn about these little goblins who are thought to run around from the period of Christmas to Epiphany stirring up trouble!
  • Itchy hand What could it mean if you have an itchy hand?
  • A parent's curse What could be more dangerous than a parent's curse?
  • The Fall of Constantinople Learn about a superstition that became a prophesy!
  • Tuesday Find out why Tuesday is considered unlucky by Greeks.
  • The Number 13 Is the number 13 considered lucky or unlucky by Greeks?
  • Priests What is the superstition surrounding these highly respected members of the church?
  • The Use of Salt What can salt be used for?
  • The Use of Spitting What is spitting good for?
  • The Use of Garlic  When and why should garlic be used?
  • Sneezing  What is thought to be behind you sneezing?

 

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