Volunteer writer, Leah Langley, shares their thoughts on superstitions as well as discovering new ones which other people practice. Are you superstitious?
A superstition is defined as: “a belief or practice typically resulting from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or causality, a belief in fate or magic, a perceived supernatural influence, or fear of that which is unknown.” It has been a part of everyday life since ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances or events as best as they could with the knowledge that they had.
I’ve never really been much of a superstitious person myself. I’m aware of what star sign I am and I find the memes that are based on the star signs funny, but I don’t really belief in a “lucky day” or the idea that the position of the moon will decide my fate. The most superstitious I get is not stepping on three drains in a row, but I have no idea why that is a thing. I think I got told it was bad luck when I was a child, and it’s just one thing I’ve never been able to shake. On the scale of superstitions, I don’t think that’s too bad. There are some crazy superstitions out there, here are just a few of them:
- In Russia, people are sceptical about carrying empty buckets after Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by a man who carried an empty bucket. Some people are so superstitious about this that when they buy new buckets from a store, they buy a random item alongside it just to place inside the bucket.
- According to Turkish legend, when a person chews gums at night, it turns into the flesh of the dead. People in Turkey are, therefore, against chewing gum after dark despite it not being known where the exact origin of this superstition comes from.
- In Portugal, it is seen to be very unlucky if you walk backwards as allegedly doing so lets the devil know where you are and where you’re going.
- In Japan, people are often advised to tuck their thumbs into their fists when walking through cemeteries. The reasoning for this is due to the word for “thumb” actually translating to “parent finger”, and so the legend warns that tucking in your “parent finger” will protect you parents from death.
- Another Russian superstition relates to giving flowers to others. It is widely believed across Russia that yellow flowers symbolise separation, infidelity, or death, so people avoid giving them to their significant others.
So, whilst purposefully dodging three drains might get me some bizarre looks, I think I’d definitely choose that over one of these superstitions any day of the week!
Header designed by Christos Alamaniotis – Head of Design
Edited by Uchenna Omo-Bamawo – Culture Editor