Superstitions across cultures
Transcript of Superstitions across cultures
Superstitions, beliefs and customs across cultures
Alexander Crespo Paunero Koyelia Sirkar Maria Toner Oana Popescu
近义词： folklore; old wives' tale; tradition; blind faith; blind worship
(English – Chinese Dictionary)
Superstitions have their roots centuries ago, when our ancestors tried to explain mysterious circumstances, preserve traditions or share tacit knowledge.
To feel itchy on the left hand (you will receive money soon)Throw coins into fountains
To spend 88, 99 or 66 $Right eye blinking (you will receive money)
To spend money on Mondays or on 1st of JanuaryTo wear a wallet with no money in itTo feel itchy on your right hand
To avoid to spend 44 $
Left eye blinking (money loss)
Horses, especially white ones, are creatures of magic and luck. The spider is considered the messenger of eventsWhite cat is sign of luck
UnluckyBlack cat is the symbol of evil and should be avoided Crow
Indian Chinese Romanian
Lucky Red Red, White Red, White
Unlucky White Black Black
Molière (Jean Baptiste de Poquelin) died in the scene wearing yellow clothes. Since then, yellow is also the colour of bad luck for the actors in western countries.
Yellow is associated to the sulfur of the Hell by christian tradition. In the 13th century the Pope Innocent III banned this colour from the Catholic liturgy.
Indian Chinese Romanian Spanish
Lucky 7 8 7 -
Unlucky 8 4 13 13
13 and 666 represent the numbers of the bad luck in Christian cultures.In particular Friday the 13th is believed to be the day of the bad luck in many countries.
Indian Chinese & Romanian
Spanish & Irish
-Sneezing before starting something important is a bad omen.
-Someone is talking about the “sneezer”.
-Soul tries to escape the body- “Bless you”, “Jesus”
If a dog howls at night it is a bad omen.
A cat crossing the road is considered unlucky.
In China the older and uglier a cat is, the luckier it is.
A the time of Vidayi (leaving the house after marriage) the girl throws rice and other grains and her brothers and everybody else in the house catches it in some cloth it symbolises the girl’s wish that even after she leaves the house, her family should have sufficient and should remain prosperous.
Throwing rice confetti at the newlyweds will bring them prosperity all their life.
If it rains during the wedding, it means prosperity and happiness for the newlyweds. (Monsoon weddings)
IRISH AND CHINESE SUPERSTITIONSNewgrange 3200 BC
Book of Invasions 11th Century
Son of God
Tao Hua Yuan“Peach Blossom Spring”
Tír na nÓg“Land of the Youth”
Pre Tang Dynasty(pre- 618)
Book of Invasions
Peaches: longevity & prosperity
Peach Blossom Festival (Spring)
Leprechauns – Luprachán:guarding treasure
Lughnasadh festival (Aug)
IMPLICATIONS• Superstitions means to believe in spite of evidence or without
evidence; to believe that the world is governed by chance or caprice; to disregard the true relation between cause and effect; to put thought, intention and design back of nature; to believe in force apart from substance, or in substance apart from force; to believe in miracles, spells and charms, in dreams and prophecies; to believe in the supernatural. Thousands of persons believe in lucky and unlucky days, numbers, signs and jewels (Ingersoll, 2010).
References• MacMillan Dictionary• Oxford Dictionary• English – Chinese Dictionary• Ingersoll – 2010• Understanding South Asian culture compiled by Caritas Youth and Community
Service• Sources of Chinese tradition by W.M.Theodore De Bary , Wing-tsit Chan, Chester Tan• Hindu manners , customs and ceremonies by Abbe J.A. Dubosis• Indian Civilazation , the Formative period by S.C.Malik• India-An illustrated history by Prem Kishore and Anuradha Kishore Ganpati• Irish language and culture by Francesca Coles• www.irishcultureandcustoms.com• www.triskelle.eu/history• www.chinatownconnection.com