Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Superstitions ... Do You Believe in Them?

I grew up surrounded by all kinds of superstitions. I would like to share some superstitions that I've personally encountered at one point in my life. Most of them I've learned when I was young.

Funny, I've never managed to shake off some of them from my system even though logic tells me that they couldn't possibly be true. I would rather be on the safe side. Perhaps, I've just been accustomed to them for so long, that I've subconsciously incorporated them in my life.

Wedding Superstitions
1. A groom cannot see the bride before the wedding. I guess this one is a common practice.

2. Siblings cannot marry on the same year because it will bring bad luck.

3. If a younger sibling marries ahead of an older sibling/s, he or she should give the older sibling/s a gift to avoid bad luck.

Wakes and Funerals
1. The bereaved party does not accompany you to the door when you leave the wake because it is a bad sign. It is best if the guest leaves the wake without saying goodbye to anyone to avoid bad luck.

2. It is rude to wear red to the wake because it might offend the dead. I've never seen anyone wear red in a wake or funeral before even in today's modern times.
3. It is best not to go straight home after going to a wake or funeral. It is advisable to eat something sweet before going home in order to remove some of the sadness in your being. I personally practice this one. We often stop by a coffee shop to have coffee and dessert before going home.

Everyday Superstitions
1. Do not point at a rainbow. If you do your finger will fall off. I know this one is absurd but the weird thing is I've never pointed at a rainbow before. I guess my aunt's warning has embedded in my mind.

2. Do not open an umbrella inside the house because it brings bad luck.

3. It is not good to walk over a person lying down. If you accidentally do so, walk over him again to take the bad luck away. I used to do this when I was much younger but not anymore.

4. Killing a cat, whether on purpose or accidentally brings the person seven year bad luck. Same thing applies to breaking a mirror.

5. When you give someone shoes or slippers, make sure that you ask for a coin in return as not to let that person "step" all over you in the future.

About Babies and Children
1. Say the words, "Pwera Usog" whenever you greet an infant to avoid giving the baby tummy aches. Some even put saliva on the baby's tummy. Personally, I don't put saliva on the baby unless the mother absolutely insists.

2. Put a piece of thread (from the baby's clothes) on the baby's forehead to remove hiccups. My mother-in-law insisted I try it when Yohan had hiccups. It worked! Weird isn't it?.

3. Mothers often put small red pouches on their babies clothes to avoid getting "usog" which refers to experiencing piercing tummy aches. When I had my son, my mother-in-law gave me a red pouch for Yohan. I didn't want to put it on his clothes because it seemed like an eyesore. But I didn't want to offend her feelings so I let Yohan wear it. One time, she asked me why I didn't put it on Yohan and replied that he was wearing it under his clothes. She didn't get offended but laughed instead. I found out that in order for it to work, it has to be seen by the people. I let Yohan wear it for the first few months then later on set it aside.

How about you ... do you believe in a particular superstition or do you practice some because of tradition? I would love to hear them.

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