List of superstitions in India
The following are the common superstitions of India.
- Rahukaalam (or Rahu kala) is an inauspicious period of time every day.
- A person born under the influence of Mars is called a manglik or having Mangal Dosha. People avoid marrying such a person, especially if the person is a woman. Marriage with such a person is believed to cause marital discord and divorce, even sometimes death. However, it is believed that if two mangliks marry, the effects of both cancel out.
- It is believed that snakes can drink milk. During the festival of Nag Panchami, snakes are captured and force-fed milk. As a result, several thousand snakes die annually.
- To see a peacock before a journey is considered auspicious.
- In some parts it is believed that if 3 lizards come towards you, it is sign of marriage but if 4 or more lizards come towards you, it is a sign of upcoming death.
- If a black cat or simply a cat crosses ones way, it is treated to be a sign of bad luck.
Luck and auspiciousness
- Adding one rupee to a gift sum is auspicious, i.e., sums like 21 or 101 rupees or 501 rupees are considered more auspicious than say 20 or 100.
- There are several methods of warding of an "evil eye". Lemon-and-chilli totems are a common method.
- Mothers put kohl on their babies' face, to ward off evil eye, by making it imperfect.
- In some parts of India, it is considered inauspicious to sweep the floor at night.
- Widows are considered inauspicious in many parts of India.
- Saturdays are considered very inauspicious, as it is associated with the god Shani (Saturn).
- It is believed that looking in a broken mirror may bring bad luck.
- People don't shave, get a haircut or cut their nails on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday believing that it will invite bad luck.
- Married women should put red vermilion in the middle parting of their head to keep their husbands safe.
- In northern india married women should always wear toe-ring for her husband's health
- A married women should always wear something in neck,hands for the longetivity of their husbands
Ghosts and other supernatural beings
- Peepul trees are believed to be the abode of ghosts and they are avoided at night. Banyan trees are also believed to be inhabited by malevolent spirits.
- Spirit possessions are also reported frequently in India. Exorcisms may be used to ward off the spirit.
It is believed that a possessed person can be healed by a mere look at a picture of Hanuman or Narasimha or a chant of their names.
It is believed that when you keep sindur or vermilion next to a person's bed overnight and it turns black the next morning, then the person is possessed.
- Belief in witches is common in some parts of India. Witches are believed to be capable of killing cattle and humans, destroying crops and causing illness. Witch-hunts have been known to happen.
- In parts of Jharkhand, it is believed that if the name of a witch is written on a branch of a Sal tree, the branch would wither away. Witchcraft is illegal in India.
Sexuality and reproduction
- It is believed that masturbation may cause health problems including impotence.
- Dhat syndrome is culture bound syndrome where the sufferer believes he is losing dhat or semen in urine.
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