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Top 15 Strange Superstition in India

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A portrait of three widows
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Wondering what the weird Superstition in India is? India is a country that can never bore you. One such is the immense belief in superstitions. And they also have very significant meanings ready to be yelled out whenever questioned about their beliefs. Let’s take a look at some of them and the possible implications designated behind them.

Top 15 Strange Superstitions in India

1. Feeding milk to snakes on ‘Nag Panchami’

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It is widely believed that on Nag Panchami, snakes can drink milk, though, in reality, they cannot. Snakes, on this day, are captured and fed milk forcefully, because of which many of them die. It is believed popularly in Hindu tradition that by providing milk to ‘nags’, we feed the nag deities.

2. Adding 1 rupee to a gift sum adds to its auspiciousness.

While giving wedding or birthday gifts, people add 1 rupee to the total because it is considered a token of increment. By adding 1 rupee to the sum amount, the total becomes indivisible. Therefore, it never turns zero, which is why it is a good omen, especially for married couples on the verge of beginning a new journey.

3. The stigma of being a widow (unlucky)

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India is a place held tightly in the bonds controlled by rigid patriarchy whereby there is another conception build initially by these ‘men’ regarding widows being inauspicious at all times.

People believe that a widow is a reason for her husband’s death, maybe because she brought him a bad omen, and for that reason, the rest of her life is to be contaminated, and she has to spend her life in solitude.

4. Don’t sweep the floor of your house after or during the evening

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The actual reason why people used to avoid sweeping the floor after dusk was that the valuable ornaments or material, if present there on the floor, would also be swept off along with the dust as in that period, there were no lights. It was immensely dark after the sunset.

The now popular superstition in India about this says that if you sweep during evenings or after that, you invite bad luck to your home and sweep off ‘Lakshmi’ from your place. It’s considered a bad omen. We need to switch on the lights of our minds!

5. Gifting perfume to your close ones can cause fights to happen between you.

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The myth has originated from Greek and Chinese traditions. According to this belief, if you gift a perfume to your close ones, this will lead to your break up with them. Very Strange! It’s weird, but the popular possible meaning behind this myth is that if you are giving perfume or any such fragrance related item, it means that you are telling them that they stink.

6. Women are impure when they are menstruating.

No matter how developed our country is or how the generation has changed, but this belief has failed to eradicate itself from our minds. There is a theory that when women are menstruating, they become impure, which is why they are not allowed to enter into temples, and sometimes they are even asked not to enter the kitchen of their house.

There is no scientific or logical reason behind this superstition in India. Still, if we go to the ancient times when women used to menstruate, men found their behaviour very different, irritated and arrogant. This is why they believe that during this time of the month, women are not in their senses and behave weirdly. So the spiritual energy in them is lost during this time.

7. Stop if the Cats have crossed your path.

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 If a cat crosses their path, people are asked to stop. The popular belief is that if a cat crosses your path in a hurry, it will bring you bad luck for the day or the work you were about to proceed with. This belief is supported by adding the colour ‘black’, i.e. if a black cat crosses your path, you should probably avoid going for the work you were about to do. The colour black is itself considered as an ominous colour which adds to the faith into this belief.

This superstition originates from when people believed cats were the first among the kingdom of animals to sense a problem. So, whenever there is a problem somewhere, they are the ones to run the fastest towards it. Therefore, if you see a cat in a hurry, there is a problem outside. So it is better to stay at home.

8. Cats, coming to your place during Diwali is auspicious.

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If they cross your path, Cats give you a bad omen, whereas when it is the time of festivity, especially Diwali, they’re more than welcome in our homes. How contradictory! The concept behind this superstition is that the cat symbolizes ‘female,’ i.e. in Hindu tradition, the ‘Lakshmi’ which is a goddess for good fortune.

Therefore, the cats are welcomed amiably during the Diwali days. But it is important to notice here that the cats welcomed are white-coloured. People still abandon the poor black cats.

9. Don’t wash your hair on Thursdays.

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People are extremely afraid to wash their hair on this day, and most of them avoid it, possibly every week. The belief behind this superstition in India says that if you wash your hair on Thursdays, it will cause something bad to happen to your brother. I wonder if something gets spilt on my hair on Thursday! What’ll I do?

10. Number ‘3’ as unlucky.

In India, no. 3 is considered as unlucky and is usually avoided by people and a group of three is considered as bad in one way or the other. There is no logic found as yet behind this belief, but I would like to draw your attention towards a contradictory belief among Christians regarding this no. According to their religion, no. 3 is lucky and auspicious as they believe in ‘Trinity’. There are different beliefs in different cultures.

11. Someone Sneezing before one leaves is bad.

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Earlier, when there were no medical facilities, people frequently got unwell, and sneezing was considered the beginning of some serious disease. Thus, it is considered bad and an onset of a bad illness that could spread to others.

12. 7 years of bad luck if you break a mirror.

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Earlier, in medieval times, mirrors were very expensive, and only the elite class (kings probably) and the nobility could buy them. So if someone broke a mirror, he was sentenced to jail for seven years. From there on, the belief of bad luck for seven years after breaking the mirror has emerged. And now the real meaning is lost, leading it to become another strange superstition.

13. ‘Buri Nazar’ averted by using lemon and green chilli. 

People believe that hanging lemon and green chilli together attached in front of your shop or house help in averting Buri Nazar. The actual logic behind this superstition in India was that our ancestor’s hanged green chilli and lemon for encouraging the intake of vitamins as both of them are rich in vitamins.

Also, they have pesticide properties that don’t let insects and flies enter the house or shop. It is nowhere connected to the so-called ‘Buri Nazar’ as we are forced to believe.

14. Walking under a standing ladder brings bad luck.

As we pointed out earlier, in Christianity, the ‘trinity is most important. Therefore, the standing ladder forms a triangle- a sign of trinity. If you walk from under it, then you are disrespecting the trinity in some manner.

Another possible explanation given to this superstition in India is that the standing ladder represents a pyramid, according to the Egyptians. If you walk under it, then they believe that the power of the sacred pyramid is broken.

15. Taking a bath after attending a funeral.

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We always take a bath after attending a funeral. In fact, in some places, people enter their house after washing their hands and face. This is to remove the impurities of the departed soul one gained during the funeral.

The actual reason behind this belief is that our ancestors did not have any medical facilities earlier, and they took extra precautions to keep themselves healthy. So, after attending a funeral, they encouraged a ritual to bathe to remove any causes of an emerging disease caught from the dead body.

Superstition in India we believe, have emerged primarily out of fear- the fear of God especially. We are taught from the beginning certain rituals to be followed and we blindly do it without asking any logic or meanings behind their existence, which leads to the formation of superstitions. 

About the author

Hey, this is priyanka, a student of English literature, keen on exploring the depths of it. I am an introvert, shy and more inclined to my books. Love old Hindi music. Good at sketching and poetry.

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