Superstitions and Folklore Characters in Trinidad & Tobago well be similar to other Caribbean countries with slight variations in name of the character.
Don't put goat mout' on something - meaning don't speak of anything negative that has not happened as yet, because it might come true.
If done by a barber/hairdresser with straight hair - the child's hair will end up being straight (considered to be "good" hair) - If done by one with "hard" hair (curly hair) - considered to be "bad" hair, the child's hair will turn out curly.
When pregnant - drinking a lot of chocolate milk will make the baby dark skinned - drinking milk instead, will make the baby looking fair.
Whatever food the mother is craving at a given moment, she should be given it immediately, otherwise the baby will have a mark on his/her body will will resemble the food.
Don't bathe in the sea on Good Friday - you will turn into a fish.
If you put your handbag on the floor/ground you will never have money.
- submitted by Claudette Matthews
If your second toe is bigger than your big toe then you are going to beat or rule your husband.
- submitted by Claudette Matthews
When you comb your hair and what is left on the comb is thrown outside, if a bird gets it and makes a nest, then you will get a headache.
- submitted by Claudette Matthews
Never take out the trash after 6, your taking the wealth out of your house.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Never give someone a lamp that you have used, it brings bad luck.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Don't sew on yourself (like a button), it makes people talk bad of you.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Do not sweep over someone's feet, they will never marry.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Do not cut your hair on odd days, like Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, same for trimming your nails, this is also leading the way for bad luck.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Don't cross over someone, especially if it is a female over a male or vice versa, it is possible for them to take your illnesses, or misfortunes that way.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Always put a hot pepper in food that will be travelling at night, that way you ward off the spirits from entering your home.
- submitted by Helen Houle
Always turn your back to the inside of the house when opening the door at night, that way the sprits that have followed you home, will see your face and will not enter.
- submitted by Helen Houle
It is believed that if anyone eats the Cascadoux fish, regardless of where they may move in the world they will return to Trinidad to end their days.
It is also believed that to bury the navel string of a child at the foot of a prolific fruit tree, this will ensure the fertility of the child as an adult.
Silk Cotton trees are regarded with a kind of awed reverance and fear. These are huge trees. It is reported to be very difficult to be able to find someone who will cut down a silk cotton tree as they are said to be the home of spirits and duppies. To cut it down is to free them to roam the earth.
Horse whip snakes are said to whip pregnant woman. 24 hour lizards (ordinary garden lizards) are said to stick to your skin for 24 hours if you come into contact with one.
Do not pass a knife or pepper to anyone - it will cause you to have an argument with them./b>
If you come home after midnight, walk into the front door backwards, or jhumbies will follow you into the house.
Do not open an umbrella indoors - a jhumbie will stand under it with you.
Do not pick up money you find in the road - it could have evil spirits or worries on it.
Never say a child is heavy - only dead people are heavy.
Never say last, or it will be your last (eg: last walk, last drink)
If a dog barks incessantly and there is nothing there, the dog is seeing a spirit.
If you want to see a spirit, put wax from a dog's eye into yours.
Don't pick fruits after 6p.m., the tree is sleeping.
If you see a brown spider in your house, you will get money.
If you see a brown grasshopper in your house you will get money.
If you see a green grasshopper in your house, you will lose money.
If the palm of your left hand scratches you, you will get money.
If the palm of your right hand scratches you, you will lose money.
If your right eye jumps, you will see someone you have not seen in a long time.
If you bite your tongue, someone is speaking about you.
If you eat cheese late at night, you will have bad dreams.
If you play with your shadow, you will have bad dreams.
If someone close to you dies, cover all the mirrors in your house with black cloth until after you are buried, otherwise you will see them in it.
A butterfly in the house means good luck.
If a pigeon drops on you, you will get good luck.
If you see a black bird outside of your window in the morning, someone you know will die
Place a corn and a hops bread (roll) near money and you will get prosperity
Put a donkey-eye in your wallet and you will get prosperity
Do not cluck your tongue or you will call a snake
New Year folklore:
  • According to folklore, events that occur on this day set a pattern of what will occur for the rest of the year.
  • Many people make resolutions on the first day of the year. They attend church service on Old Year's night and look foward to a holy passage therefore.
  • Some people say the weather pattern for the year is determined by the early hours of New Year's Day. Others believe that the first 12 days in January determine the weather patterns for the rest of the year.

    - courtesy of Caldeo Sookram, Trinidad Express Saturday, January 1st 2005
    New Year superstitions:
  • According to tradition the entire house should be cleaned before New Year's Day and all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other cleaning material put away.
  • Sweeping should not be done on New Year's Day for fear that good fortune be swept away.
  • if you sweep dirt over the threshold, you'll sweep one family member away.
  • To sweep the dust of your house by the front entrance is to sweep away good fortune.
  • The old people say that if you have a visitor who is reluctant to leave when it's time for him to leave, then you turn a broom upide down and place it in a corner of the house. In that way the visitor will take his immediate exit.
  • On the stroke of midnight it's traditional to leave doors and windows open to allow the Old Year to go out.
  • There is another tradition that whatever you do on New Year's Day, there will a continuity on that action throughout the year. ex. If you cry on New Year's Day then you'll cry for the rest of the year. If you drink rum, then know what to expect .
  • Red clothing is preferred during the festive season since red is considered a happy colour and is sure to attract for the wearer a brighter future. New clothes should be worn for it means receiving more new garments during the year.
  • For the New Year it is important for one to refrain from using foul language and speaking in negative terms. Ghost stories are taboo and conversations on death should be avoided.
  • It is important to choose the most auspicious time to visit others on New Year's Day. The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant as to what the fortunes could be for the rest of the year.
  • It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom, even the sick should get dressed and made to sit in the living room.
  • The New Year must not be met with an empty cupboard, for that's the way things will be throughout the year.
  • Keep plenty of money in a wallet to guarantee a prosperous year.
  • The New Year also should not begin with unpaid bills and personal debts should be taken care of.
  • There is comon tradition that eating of black-eye peas on New Year's Day will attract good luck and, money in particular. So when dining make sure black-eye peas are on the menu.
  • Make sure you do some work on the first day of the year. It is not prudent to do laundry on the first day of the year for a member of the family could be washed away (die).
  • Avoid breaking items on New Year's Day since "wreckage" might follow you.
  • Making loud noises, as is customary in this country, at midnight is not only a celebration; it's a means of scaring away evil spirits, according to folklore.

    - courtesy of Caldeo Sookram, Trinidad Express Saturday, January 1st 2005

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