Sleeping with a blanket backwards

Informant is a Korean international student at USC, majoring in accounting. She is 21 years old, and has lived in Korea until she finished high school. Her primary language is Korean. Her family consists of five members –her mom, her dad, younger brother, younger sister, and herself.


Superstition: If you sleep with a blanket backwards, you will be falsely charged of someone else’s guilt.

Informant: “My grandma used to tell me not to sleep with a blanket backwards. She told me to put the front part of the blanket to face the ceiling, or else I would be falsely charged of someone else’s guilt. She said this in a stern, serious way. I remember hearing this since I was really young. There was this weird feeling that if I put blanket backwards, I would really be falsely accused of something that I didn’t do. Nothing is wrong with preventing something bad, right? I just didn’t want bad things happen to me, and whenever I realized I put blanket backwards, I corrected it. I really believed in this as a young child. I think I didn’t even question it because it was said by my grandma, who I thought was the wisest person in the world. She even scolded me for not putting the blanket in a ‘proper’ way, so that too made me believe in this superstition. Now I don’t care how I cover myself with a blanket. I am too tired when I go to sleep, so I have no time to think about such stuff. Luckily, I haven’t been falsely charged of anything.”

I have heard of this superstition too. This is normally said to young kids, who are in the process of learning basic how to’s. This superstition basically teaches young kids the proper way of putting blankets, and it helps them learn faster because superstitions are not easy to forget. It’s mostly said in a mother-child, or grandmother-child relationship, therefore it’s implied that this superstition is usually for educational purposes. Korea traditional quilts are very fancy and colorful, that showing the pattern was essential. Therefore this superstition seems like it’s closely related to Korea’s traditional quilts.