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Factual Superstions

Do you believe in superstitions that are deliberately thrown on us by old people? Or you are too modern to act according to such orthodox beliefs? Traditionally, there are many beliefs since ages and often it is linked with religion or God. Just like a herd, one performs and the other follows but have you ever comprehended the scientific reason, nevertheless the original fact behind the superstitions we blindly follow.

In a Psychological Review article by Jane Risen, we can improve our understanding of superstition by considering the interaction between our “fast” and “slow” systems of thinking. Risen suggests that to explain why superstitious beliefs are maintained even when people know they are not true, the existing model must be refined.

As superstitions are widely accustomed in India and other places in the world, here are six most common superstitions and facts behind them:

Hanging lemon and chillis at the entrance

Nimbu-Mirchi Indian ritual that we follow is superstitiously to avoid evil vibes before starting anything viz. buying a new car, new shop opening or in our homes. Actually, it has a scientific reason to keep away insects from entering our house or shop.

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Next time you do so don’t forget to mention reality of first superstition.

Do not cut nails after sunset

Our parents often stop us to cut nails after the sun sets and we probably don’t get to know the reason from them. In earlier times, when there was limited supply of electricity, people avoided cutting nails after sunset because of hygienic reasons – one would not know if the nail particles get stuck to the feet and are carried inside the rooms. Well now when you are aware of this superstition, you tell them instead.

Don’t wash hair on Thursdays

It is the lamest superstition we come across. On every Thursday our elders come shouting to not wash hair otherwise there will be money issues. On the other side, it was followed by ancient people to save water. They used to conserve water and one specific day was fixed.

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Stop targeting Thursday, we can manage on other days. Right millennials!

Don’t go near Peepal tree at night

While we were kids, nobody allowed us to go near Peepal tree at night and we were told that ‘Brahm baba’ is in there. This is the funniest and scariest reason at the same time. And above all, we believed in the reason that the baba would curse us.

Scientifically, trees release carbon dioxide during nighttime. Nothing like the tree is inhabited by spirits and ghosts.

Stop if cat crossed your way

Many of us won’t believe even if they read the fact behind a cat crossing our path because we’re doomed in the superstition following since years. Cat is just like another animal but we have a firm belief that something wrong might happen.

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In ancient times, people traveled through the forest on their bullock cart. It had chances to get animals in front of the cart, and animals like cats have glowing eyes which scare the animals pulling cart.

Curd and sugar before going out

Our mothers offer curd and sugar before we head out which is commonly followed in every Indian house. Well, this has an obvious scientific reason behind it. It is done to keep you fresh and cold before going out in sun.

You shouldn’t argue on this superstition, you get blessed through maa ke hath ka khana.

There are many other beliefs and superstitions we don’t even know exist. Our country is popularly seen as the most diverse and religious, embraced over years. We must respect that along with breaking stereotypes and eradicating such superstitions.

Go ahead folks, share the knowledge and comment down how you tackle with the superstitions!

Meghna Mishra
About author

Freelance journalist with love for music | Discovering my human self
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