Sitting down before a trip. Once the suitcases are packed, everyone in your party, including babies and pets, is likely to sit down for a few seconds in silence before leaving. The idea is to trick evil spirits into not following you on your journey and interfering with the "tailwind." If you’re not contemplating the battle of good and evil in those moments, feel free to make sure you brought your keys, tickets and cell phone.

Bouquets. Russians love flowers. If you’re a guy, you can’t do better than bring your special someone a nice bouquet, even if you buy it from an old lady by a nearby metro station. Just make sure that you’re giving an odd number of flowers, preferably three and up. Even number is reserved for funerals only.

Host gifts. Even if you’re stopping by a friend’s house for a cup of tea, a small gift or flowers or cake is customary. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A box of chocolates or something from a local bakery is perfect. Another good choice is a treat you’d like to try yourself because it’s likely that your host will put it on the table for everyone to share.

Toasts and glasses clinking. When a toast is made during a celebration, clink glasses. When glasses are raised at a solemn occasion, such as a funeral, don’t. Toasts can range from something simple like "To lovely ladies" to a five-minute speech about the virtues of your hosts. As the night progresses, expect to move onto more exciting topics with toasts like "Let the table break from food and beds break from love."

Gifts for babies. If your friend is having a baby, don’t expect a baby shower. In fact, even asking her about her due date or the gender of the baby may be considered bad tone, unless she volunteers that information and then it’s ok to expand. More likely than not new parents won’t buy anything baby related until he or she is actually born, because doing otherwise is considered bad luck. Don’t expect to visit them in the hospital or even a few weeks after coming home for the fear of evil eye. When you’re finally invited to meet the new arrival, outfits and accessories always make for welcome gifts.

The main photo credit: tearoad.ru

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