Iranians are unique! If you still doubt this, here are 7 typical iranian superstitions that will for sure convince you!


7 typically iranian superstitions

1. Sneezing

When someone sneezes, we usually say  “Sabr umad” which literally means “patience has arrived”. This means that it’s better to stop any ongoing actions or decisions and to give a little time for consideration and patience!

2. The palm of your hand

If the palm of your right hand feels itchy , we say that you will soon earn some money. If it is the palm of your left hand, well you will soon… lose money! I think this superstition doest also exist in western cultures.

3. Your Shoes

If your shoes are overlapped when you remove them, we say that you will soon be traveling.

4. Your cup of tea

If a tea leaf settles on top of your cup of tea (obviously it only works with tea leaves, not tea bags), we say that a guest will soon come to visit you.

5. Your lips

Or more specifically the top of your lips (the part between the nose and the lips). If this zone scratches you, a guest will come visit you, like for the previous superstition!

6. Your steps

If you walk down the street with someone, and your feet bangs into his feet, we’ll say that there’s going to be an argument between the two of you! Now that you’ve been warned, watch out your steps!

7. Water

If you spill water, you will be told something like “roshanayi miare” which literally means “It brings light”. Spilling water is therefore good omen, because this will bring light and more insight in your life. Beautiful superstition and highly convenient for the clumsiest 🙂


And one last bonus

The Oscar of the best iranian superstition goes to … the “evil eye”!
Yep, this one of a kind superstition that you’ll find in many different cultures. But Iranians take this concept much further than the simple “knock on wood” to keep the evil eye away.

In fact, when someone overly compliments us, or proves particularly envious, then we say that this person is likely to bring “evil eye” on us. In this case, we will prepare what is called the “espand” (pronounced “esfand”).

Espand_Sparkling Iran


It is a mixture of seeds that we burn in a sort of censer to make smoke out of it. Then we turn the smoke around the head of people we want to protect from the evil eye, while reciting some kind of “incantation”. This incantation basically says “that this esfand may put out the eyes of the jealous and envious“.
Of course, this custom is very symbolic – Iranians are very nice people ! – But many of them believe in this tradition to keep the evil eye away from their homes!

There are probably lots of other superstitions, the ones mentionned above are the most common.

So, how do you like our superstitions?

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Hi, I am a 26 year old Iranian-French woman. I've been living in France since I'm 7 and have graduated in Marketing and International Communication from a French Business School. I am happy to share with you these sparks from Iran, at this special time when the country is, more than ever, opening itself to the International trade.

Leave your comments and hope you'll enjoy the reading !
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22 thoughts on “Mysteries of Persian superstitions

  1. Loved the post, I’m from Sardinia and we have millions of these superstitions. I love writing about them and discover the ones of other countries, plus I love Iran so next time I go I’ll be careful to observe these! :))

    1. Hi Angela! Thank you for your kind comment, glad you liked the article! Next time you go to Iran, you’ll indeed have plenty of superstitions to observe and certainly some new ones to add to this article 😉

  2. Thank you so much miss
    I used your description in giving a lecture
    I appreciate you that make our traditions alive…

    1. Hello Mohammad and thanks for your kind comment, very happy to hear that you used this article in your lecture, hope it went well 🙂
      Thanks again !

  3. thanks a million Shirin.your paper is very useful for my lecture.thank you so much

    1. Hi Niloufar jan, Thanks for your kind comment, happy to help 🙂 Have a nice day !

  4. Thanks a billion Shirin for broadcasting Iranian culture and keep your fingers crossed toward it and your life. 😉

  5. Thanks shirin i start learning english and last session we learned superstitions that i like it.
    Then i search web and read your article.
    It was so nice for me.
    Have a great time.
    I need a person to chat with him/her for improving my language skill and correcting my mistake i will happy if you accept it.

    1. Hi Omid, thanks for your kind message, glad you liked the article !
      You can try Facebook groups for iranians (there are many of them) where you will find people to chat with to improve your language skills.
      Hope it helps,

      have a nice day,

  6. Thanks a lot , miss!
    I used your description in giving an excellent lecture.
    Than you so much

    1. Hi Amir Jan
      I am so glad you liked the article, thanks for sharing that !
      Have a very nice day,


  7. Hi Shirin,

    It was a gist of it!

    Just about the devil eye it’s good to mention that it is originated in Greek and when Alexander was expanding his empire, Greek superstition also spread away.

    Merci beaucoup ,

    1. Hi Beyaheen jan,
      Thank you so much for sharing that info, very interesting I didn’t know that 🙂
      Have a very nice day,


  8. hello to you shirin. thanks so much for sharing our old beliefs with the world. your article has a lot to say and meaningful for readers.

    1. Hi Ali jan,

      Thank you so much for you comment, really glad you liked the article!
      Have a nice day,


    1. Hi Ahmad jan,
      Thanks for your kind words, new articles will soon be released, staty tuned 🙂
      Have a nice day,


    1. Hi Hadis,

      Thanks a lot for your kind words, really appreciate it!
      Have a nice day 🙂

  9. thank you so much shirin. it can be useful not just for us. by these activities you can also help to change some bad perspectives of some people from foreign countries too.continue your works with your great team . again thanks. by the way kheili damet garm 🙂

    1. Hi Amirreza jan, so glad to read your very kind message! The main objective of this blog really is about changing some bad perspectives as you mentionned.
      Thanks again and I LOVE “damet kheily garm” haha ! Hal Kardam 😀
      Makes me want to write an other article on some very impossible-to-translate Persian expressions 😀

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