17 Amusing Superstitions That Every Indian Will Know

17 Amusing Superstitions That Every Indian Will Know

1. A black cat crossed your path? Better if you stay back, that’s a bad omen!

This is a superstition most of us are familiar with as well as baffled by. The simple incident of a cat crossing your path while on its way has been differently interpreted by various cultures; Britain and Japan consider it good luck, whereas India, USA and several European countries believe it is bad luck. I fail to believe that there is, or could possibly ever be, any logical justification for this; it only forces you to picture a little innocent creature as a malevolent villain.

17 Amusing Superstitions That Every Indian Will Know

2. No sweeping the floor at night, it sweeps away good luck.

As naïve as it may sound, this superstition does prevail in many households even today. Its origin dates back to the time when electricity was not available in abundance. This led people to believe that if they swept their floors at night, they might inadvertently sweep away valuables due to inadequate light. But even after development stepped in and sufficient electricity became available, people refused to part with this belief, probably owing to their lack of rationality or rigidity. Might as well ignore other developments and go back to rubbing stones for making a fire, huh?

3. Calling out to a person leaving the house spoils the purpose.

I myself have fallen prey to this innumerable times. Isn’t it actually a reflex action for most of us to ask a person leaving the house about where they’re going? But according to an old Indian belief, calling out to a person spoils the purpose of their going. Inexplicable much?

4. Peepal trees= Dwellings of ghosts and witches.

This one’s rather hilarious. It’s like, out of all the tress existing in the country, a particular tree has been targeted (mostly owing to its formidable structure) and entitled to be the abode of ghosts and witches. That is why it is advised not to rest under a peepal tree and never to even dare passing one at night. So, better beware.

5. The one rupee rule

May it be a wedding or any other happy occasion, in our country, the tradition of gifting money has long been adhered to. However, what’s astonishing about this, is the fact that the money you gift should always be an odd number, and so any amount is gifted with one rupee unforgettably added to it. The reason behind this superstition, like most others, remains obscure.

6. Twitching of the eye

It’s high time we take up a completely justified movement of the human body and portraying it as unnatural, whirl our implausible theories around it. So here it is – a twitching eye. Scientifically described as repetitive and involuntary spasms of the eyelid muscles, twitching of the eye has been subjected to various interpretations. A lot of confusion persists over the matter, and which side of the eye that twitches brings good or bad luck is unclarified. General belief is that twitching of the left eye is inauspicious and hints at an unpromising future.

7. Having a spoonful of curd with sugar before an exam is believed to bring good luck

Let alone households, we’ve seen this one being practiced in almost every other Bollywood movie, haven’t we? Though they do know it cannot rectify an entire year of not studying, people happily indulge in the spoonful to please their mothers and more so because it tastes delicious.

8. Solar Eclipses

Solar Eclipses have myriad number of superstitions associated with them. They are considered abominable, and during the event people avoid moving outdoors, temples and shops remain closed and food is not cooked or eaten. Giving birth during an eclipse is also considered inauspicious.

9. Saturday is not a good day… put that wallet right away!

Saturday aka SHANIVAAR is the day of Shani Dev, who most Indians remain in constant fear of. It is believed that anything done under the influence of Shani brings bad luck, so people avoid doing many activities on Saturdays such as cutting nails, purchase of new products, initiating a new business or any other monetary matter. People also avoid conducting marriages or any other social functions on this day. Shall we call it the day of the doomed?

10. The sight of a peacock before a journey is considered auspicious

Now that’s outright random. The peacock is a beautiful creature alright, but how can the mere glimpse of one decide how your journey is going to turn out? No logic here either bro.

11. Looking into a broken mirror brings bad luck.

First things first, why would someone look into a mirror if it’s broken? And if they do happen to inadvertently look at one, before realizing that it’s broken and looking away, what’s the big deal? That’s no reason to overwhelm them by saying that their day, or even future, is now ruined. But thanks to the superstitious minds of Indians, people do it anyway.

12. You should not give or accept anything with your left hand.

How often have you been interrupted while giving/accepting something, that too, for a reason you absolutely could not comprehend, but followed the interrupter’s command anyway? I have, a million times. May it be accepting a gift or giving away food grains as charity, we are always told to it with our right hand. Talk about discrimination within your own body parts.

13. “Haay! Kitni sundar lag rahi ho. Kala teeka laga do, kisi ki nazar na lag jaaye”

It is obvious that beauty attracts attention. But did you know that beauty also attracts the eye of the malicious, who are so potent that their mere glance in your direction could make you fall sick and make you vulnerable to major harm? Did you also know that all of this could be avoided by nothing but a sheer black dot on your face? The idea behind the ‘teeka’ is to make yourself imperfect or less beautiful so that you do not fall victim to anyone’s ‘buri nazar’ or cursed glance. Kudos to the well-thought-out ideology!

14. While praying for someone, if the flame of the diya blows out, then the person you were praying for is in major harm and might even DIE.

I say, spare the little flame of the diya everybody! Why accuse its little soul of signifying something so unpleasant when it is doing its required job of complying to the laws of physics? I absolutely fail to reason with the person who gave birth to this one, and for all I can think, it originated out of a passing joke. If you hadn’t noticed, this superstition has the key to immortality hidden beneath its smoky surface. Stock up on a lifetime’s worth of fuel, heat and oxygen, light a diya, pray for someone and they live forever!

15. The lemon-chillies charm!

Not only can the aforementioned commodities make your cuisine absolutely spicy, they also harbour tendencies to defeat evil and bring goodluck. This belief is reflected in all the charms you see hanging on the doorways of houses, offices, shops etc. It is also believed to signify prosperity. These charms are supposed to be changed every Friday because of the alleged evil influence they have absorbed and any person stepping on them is believed to have invited bad luck or ill fate. This superstition is justified by stating that the charm satisfies ‘Alakshmi’ – the Goddess of Poverty, who is a supposed lover of spicy and sour things, which prevent her from further entering premises.

16. A menstruating woman is considered unclean and impure.

According to the belief prevalent in India, menstruating women deserve nothing but separation for seven days. They are asked to keep out of the kitchen and not allowed to enter temples, mosques or any other religious surfaces in the house itself. A holy book also states that a person who sees a menstruating woman naked should be abandoned by society. While advocating this superstition, some  people try to justify their irrationality by arguing that it is rather considerate, as women go through a lot of pain during menstruation and the rules have been established to avoid them doing arduous jobs, while many others are of the opinion that this belief has no scientific base whatsoever and originated to further deteriorate the position of women in the society.

17. Widows are considered unlucky.

In many parts of India, a widow goes through a lot more than dealing with the loss of her beloved. Widows are treated as unlucky commodities, they are supposed to maintain house arrest for a long period of time after their husbands’  demise,  forbidden to wear ornaments and any colour but white and are also not allowed to participate in any festivals or social gatherings. Nonetheless, it comes as no surprise that no such restrictions prevail over widowers. While men can move on, women are required to remain grief-stricken for the rest of their lives. This is another superstition that hints at subordinating the position of women in society. 

Are there any superstitions that you find amusing? Or do you believe in superstitions? Tell us in the comments below!

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