Here are some commonly followed superstitions that people believe in.

 

Lemons and Chillies:  If you look around most shops, their entrances’ are usually adorned with lemons and chillies. Well, one lemon and seven chillies to be specific. It is believed that the goddess of misfortune will enter and ruin’s one’s livelihood. So, in order to appease her, shop owners hang them at their entrance.

 

Touch or Knock on Wood:  Similar to the ‘nazaar na lag’ jaye or ‘evil eyes’, the knock / touch wood is usually done to continue with one’s good fortune, and keep bad fortune at bay. Legend has it that this phrase may have come from the Christian cross.

 

Coins in the holy river: This is seen as a sign of good luck and health. Turns out there are a valid reasoning to this.  Mostly copper coins were thrown in earlier times. So, over a period of time, it reacted with the water, and killed any germs and bacteria lurking in the water , thus making it clean and healthy for one’s drinking it.

 


Peepal and Banyan trees:Folklore believes vicious and evil spirits reside in these trees at night, and thus people are warned to avoid sleeping under them, unless they won’t to be possessed.

 

Fingers crossed:  This action can be considered as the Christian symbol of the cross. Usually done to wish people well and good luck, and be supportive of them.  Earlier, people would cross their index fingers together to represent the cross. However, now one either says it, or simply cross their middle finger over their index.

 

Grooming: Cutting nails and one’s hair is considered inauspicious on certain days such as Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is also considered to be bad luck if you do so on those specific days and after dark

 

Owl is not good:  Apparently, the sight of an owl perched on your roof is indicative of chaos and destruction.

 

Lighting three cigarettes: This originated during the World Wars. It is said that lighting three cigarettes with one matchstick would enable the enemy to zero in on your location, and kill the third person. 

 

Watch this space for good luck superstitions’  in the next segment.