Chile's Unique Traditions and Superstitions You Need to Know

Photo of Will Lees
28 December 2017

Many people have a list of lucky things they do to ensure good fortune and the Chileans are no different, however, some of their superstitions are a bit… different. Stepping in dog mess might sound like bad luck but not in Chile! Here’s our guide so that you can try your best to understand these traditions and superstitions.

Lottery Tickets | © Kelly Teague / Flickr

Indigenous New Year

Following an ancestral calendar, the indigenous people of Chile celebrate their New Year almost as far away from January 1st as the calendar will allow, on June 24th. Among the best places to take in the Indigenous New Year are the town of Temuco, or up the beautiful Santa Lucia hill in the nation’s capital.

Tuesday the 13th

Another date that the rest of the world would believe that Chile has gotten wrong, is the unlucky date when the 13th day of the month happens to land on a… Tuesday? Yes, down here, Friday the 13th will cause no anxiety amongst Chileans, but Tuesday the 13th, is a day of severe bad luck, so do not plan anything significant on this day!

Friday 13th | © Casey Florig / Flickr


If you are a redhead travelling through Chile, you may get some stares, or maybe even some pinches, but understand that that is because down here you are rather special. According to Chilean custom and tradition, pinching a redhead brings good luck.

Salty relationship

There are many superstitions, for whatever reason, that are associated with the most common condiment, salt, mostly the bad luck incurred if you spill or drop it. In Chile, as you can imagine, it is almost the opposite, where a sure handed pass of the salt shaker can ensure that the giver, and receiver of the salt, will have a falling out.

Salt Shakers | © Nick Harris / Flickr

Lucky amarillo

You would think down here, due to the flag, that blue or red would be lucky colours, where in fact, the colour of yellow is considered a good omen in Chile. Many people will wear a lucky yellow article of clothing during an important test, big sporting event or important day to ensure good fortune.


It is difficult to get poor quality wine in Chile, no matter the low amount of change you have remaining to budget for a bottle of vino, and maybe that has to do with the Grape Harvest Festival where people religiously bless the first batch of wine to ensure a good season. Seems to be working!

Valparaiso Vineyard | © Guldem Ustun / Flickr

Rooster booster

A rooster crowing in the middle of the night is an absolute nuisance if you are trying to catch some sleep, but in Chile, it may help you relax. The reasoning for this is that here, a rooster call at midnight will mean those who hear it will receive good news in the near future.

Give me a hand

If your hand is itchy in Chile, make note of which one, as here it is believed that if your left hand is itchy, you will come into some money, and if your right hand is itchy, you will be meeting someone new and important. Make sure not to itch them, and let it go away naturally, as this is meant to erase the good luck coming your way.

photo by <a href="">cafecredit</a>

Careful with the glassware

Hold your glass very tight when at a wedding, as a smashed glass during a couple’s big day puts a black cloud over the marriage and can mean they will have problems. Good ways to avoid this are to have a small wedding, use plastic cups, or don’t have an open bar.

Doggy doo good

In many countries, there’s the peculiar idea that a bird targeting its droppings onto you, is a sign of good luck. Well, in Chile, if you accidentally step in something a dog has left behind, it has the same positive indication for your future, and you will be blessed with a full pocket of money.

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