Superstitions about menstruation around the world

When I was a young teenager, my mom always told me when I had menstruation that I can’t cook or touch meat. It didn’t make sense to me, but I was happy that I didn’t need to help her in the kitchen. Although I caught myself thinking several times why I can’t touch the meat, what could go wrong and I tried asking my mom about it, but there was no answer. Today, I talked with my sister about period myths and she actually got the answer why you can’t touch meat when you are on period because it would get rotten faster.

Why I am writing about those things when I have a travel blog? Well, because only from travelling experience and meeting people from other countries I understood that it is okay to talk about a period. I grew up in an environment where having menstruations are a secret. But it shouldn’t be like that. Here are a few myths about menstruations in different countries.

Superstitions of menstruations across the world


Do not go camping during menstruations, because the bears can smell it from far away and attack you.


Also, it is believed that women who go surfing on their menstruations are likely to get attacked by a shark.

shark attack - menstruation superstitions


In Romania and other countries, you can’t touch flowers because they will die quicker.


India still has many superstitions about menstruation. The most common is that you can’t enter a kitchen or cook food for anyone else if you are on a period.

Another is that nobody should touch a menstruating woman and woman should not enter the temple.

One more quite a popular superstition which was highly advertised is that woman can’t touch pickled vegetables, because it would spoil them.

Dominican Republic

You can’t dye your hair, paint your nails, drink lemonade or use, smell bleach during a period.

paint nails - menstruation superstitions


You will not be able to make whipped cream, it will curdle.


This one is a bit gross and I hope it is not true, but that’s what I found. When young ladies get their first period they need to wash their face with the first menstrual blood in order to have clear skin.

Another crazy superstition is that you can’t take a bath while on a period. Clearly, it can make you go crazy because blood flows to your brain.


In Italy, as always everything is about food. Firstly dough won’t rise on your period. Secondly, you can’t touch raw meat or make pasta sauce while on menstruations or it will go off.

raw meat - menstruation superstitions


You will not be able to make mayonnaise, it will curdle.

Bolivia, Jamaica

In Bolivia, women on their period can’t hold babies because it will hurt their bellies. Also, you mustn’t touch a newborn, it will leave a mark on them or you’ll cause them to get sick. Just basically don’t touch babies.


You can’t make sushi on your period because you have an imbalance in taste. That’s why it is believed that woman can’t be a sushi master.

sushi - menstruation superstitions


Don’t eat octopus while menstruating or your face would be filled with warts. Also, if a woman on a period entered the room, the homemade wine would go bad.


This one is funny. You shouldn’t get super angry or your period will stop.

South Africa

Never walk barefoot during a period because you will get cramps.


In Afghanistan, it is believed that during the week a woman has her menstruation she cannot wash her hair or take a shower because it will make her infertile.


Women weren’t allowed to go to the sauna during menstruation.


You can’t make sweets during menstruations because they will taste bad.

sweet - menstruation superstitions


In China, it is widely known that women on their period bring bad luck in terms of money, gambling.


You can’t cut nails unless you will bury them afterwards.


Women are not allowed to wash hair or drink red pop (it would make you bleed more).


Women shouldn’t sit on the ground because it is cold and it can give strong cramps.


First of all, don’t cut your hair while on your period, then don’t have your hair cut by someone who is on their period. Finally, don’t shower because the flow will be really bad. Also, don’t cut your nails or even shave.


You shouldn’t wash your hands in cold water during your menstruation because it will hurt more.

Those superstitions could sound silly and funny, but those are still passed from generation to generation. Did I miss something? If you have any experience of your own please leave me a comment.

If you like this blog post read my travel tips here

If you like it, Pin it!

superstitions, myths and taboos about period and menstruation around the world #toyoupiter

Leave a Reply