5 Vietnamese superstitions you’ll want to know


1. After having a baby, many Vietnamese women will not bathe their own bodies or even wash their hair for the first month. There is a belief that contact with water could endanger the mother’s health, and this could result in the baby’s death.

2.  As in western culture the number 13 is unlucky in Vietnam, and is called a ‘dead number’. Business people in particular will not buy a house bearing the street number 13. If they have no other choice, the house will be renamed 12A or 14A. You can see this practice on many streets in Hanoi.

3. While we’re on the topic of business, people in trade must Thắp Hương or light incense and pray in front of an altar twice every month. If they don’t, the three gods on the altar will feel neglected and will punish them by reducing sales.

4. Marriage during the Year of the Dog (the current lunar year) should not be arranged between people born in the Year of the Buffalo, Goat or Dog. If people decide to ignore this superstition, they will be cursed with poverty and an unhappy relationship with their spouse.

5. If you’re the first customer of the day in a Vietnamese shop, there’s a good chance you can successfully bargain with the shop owner. Many traders believe that the first customer to cross the threshold of their shop each morning sets the tone for the day, so they really want you to make a purchase. You can turn this into an opportunity to settle on a nice price!


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