Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Lifehack: How to Get in the Door Without Disturbing the House Sprites

Why do my friends open the door and step back?

TMT: When did you last shower? If the answer is recently, our best guess is that they are trying to give you a not-so-subtle hint to enter their apartment before greeting them. In Russia, if you try to kiss or shake hands with someone over a threshold, you may as well be giving them a slap in the face.

According to Russian folklore, a house spirit lives on the threshold of each home and any interference of a hand-shaking nature will result in their wrath/bad luck/a potential plague. In the future either gently away — allowing your host to exit their home — or follow them a couple of paces into the room and away from the danger zone. Then shake hands, kiss, hug or perform whatever greeting you desire. The house spirits won't mind.

Read more

The need for honest and objective information on Russia is more relevant now than ever before!

To keep our newsroom in Moscow running, we need your support.