Superstition – Chinese

“When you buy a new car, you’re supposed to take a bottle and smash it against one of the tires of the car.”

“This is an Asian superstition, particularly Chinese but I have heard other Asian cultures do the same.  If you don’t crack the bottle on the tire than you inherit bad luck with the car.  Obviously the opposite goes if you do crack the bottle.  When I first got my license at 16, my dad handing me a bottle to smash on one of the tires and it was a thrilling moment because I remember seeing my parents do the same every time they got a new car.  My Japanese friend did the same thing when he got his first car, too.  I will pass down this tradition in my family, even if I don’t marry a girl with an Asian cultural background.”

This is one of many car superstitions that I have heard, but I have never heard a car superstition linked to a culture.  One example of another car superstition is throwing change on the ground of a new car.  The common theme behind both superstitions is making the pure and new, somewhat marked or tainted as old.  The crack of the bottle does not destroy the tires, but makes the tires no longer “brand new”.  Throwing change on the floor takes away the cleanliness of a brand new car as well.  My hypothesis behind the cultural tie to Chris’ superstition is that the Asian culture values toughness, both physically and mentality.  Possibly the breaking of a bottle on a tire marks two things: the car’s physical strength and the owner of the car’s mental strength to slightly damage a brand new, expensive vehicle.