Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Popular superstitions

Broken mirror


One of the most popular and oldest beliefs, this one is attributed to various sources. One version goes that black cats forebode doom; another goes that black cats are demons in disguise; and yet another goes that they were once pets of witches that turned into witches and hence they are witches in disguise.

Contrary to worldwide beliefs about the black cat, the Japanese consider a black cat lucky.

So the next time you see a black cat you decide whether you want turn back or walk ahead.



Another age-old belief delves around one having hiccups. An old wives' tale is that a near or dear one is thinking of you. It may or may not be true but do not forget to sip water lest you continue having hiccups.

Crow cawing


A crow cawing in front of a house is considered to be a sign of arriving guests. Whether that's good or bad, depends on the guests!

Black cat crossing your path


Long long ago when there were no mirrors, people looked at their reflections in water. One's reflection was considered to be like one's soul and as such if the reflection appeared contorted then the soul was considered broken. Even after the advent of mirrors the practice continues. A broken mirror distorts your reflection and is thus considered inauspicious.

Horse shoe


In ancient Greece, a horse shoe suspended at the entrance of a house was considered a means of letting good luck in. It was important that the horse shoe was suspended with the open side up. Suspending it with the open side down would mean letting go all the good luck.

13 and Friday the 13th


The number 13 has always been and is still considered to be sinister by many. For some, going to office or carrying out any auspicious task is out of the question on the 13th day of a month. Many others consider only Friday the 13th to be inauspicious.

Friday the 13th's bad reputation goes back to the days when under pressure from King Philip IV of France, Pope Clement V had ordered his men to capture and burn all the Templar knights, a brigade of powerful crusaders who the king felt were a threat to him.

People who fear Friday the 13th are referred to as Paraskevidekatriaphobics. And the fear of the number 13 is called triskaidekaphobia.

Another eerie concept associated with the number 13 is that if 13 diners set out to eat, one of them is bound to die within a year.

Keeping fingers crossed


This popular notion has a religious context to it. The idea was to make a wish and keep your fingers crossed to form a cross till your wish came true.

A dog howling


A dog's howling was considered eerie because the howls were believed to be an announcement of death. The canines with their superior sense of smell could sense deaths from a considerable distance.

Washing hair


Washing hair on a Thursday is not considered good and in many homes men and women put off washing hair to other days of the week.

Good dreams


Dreaming of good and auspicious things is good. This could be dreams of gods, auspicious animals and birds and everything pleasant. On the other hand, dreaming of things like meteorites, earthquakes, and metals is considered bad.

Touch wood


We often say 'touch wood' not knowing what that implies. Many years back, people believed that Gods lived in the trees and always touched the trunk of a tree and made a wish and touched the trunk again once if what was wished for came true.

Source: India Syndicate

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