India is a country full of traditions. Ever experienced your elders stopping you to step out during eclipse or washing head on a certain day, or the clipping of nails during night time or on a certain day?? Yes, we all do experience it. We call them superstitions!
But are these just the foolish beliefs or they have some meaning to it. Ever wondered? Well, let’s explore!
Here is a list of 11 famous Indian superstitions and the logic behind them:
Don’t step out during an eclipse
Logic: To prevent loss of eye-sight
There are chances of getting retinal burns or eclipse blindness if one observes Sun during a Solar Eclipse. That is why it is advised not to go out during an eclipse. The superstition story about Rahu’s head blocking the sun is woven around this practice.
Do not sleep with your head facing North
Logic: To prevent cardiovascular diseases
Our ancestors probably were aware of the relationship between earth’s magnetic field and our body’s magnetic field. This rule of sleeping with head facing south was made to avoid the harmful effects related to blood pressure and other diseases.
A girl shouldn’t do certain things while she is menstruating
Logic: To give women time for rest
Painkillers and sanitary napkins were not invented before the 20th century. So, in those days to comfort the women from the stressful days, they were asked to relax. Probably women were exempted to work because of the discomfort and this habit slowly turned into superstition.
Don’t go near a Peepal tree at night
Logic: To avoid inhaling Carbon dioxide
Our ancestors probably were aware of photosynthesis and plants emitting carbon dioxide during the night. People were discouraged from venturing near a peepal tree at night to protect them from inhaling Carbon dioxide. Later, the stories of ghosts living on these trees at night were woven.
Using lemon and green chilies to avert “Buri Nazar”
Logic: To encourage their consumption as they are rich in several nutrients
The Lemon and green chilies were probably used in the olden days because of their qualities and our ancestors used it during ceremonies to propagate their usage. This ritual slowly turned into, Nimbu Totka, which is one of the most visible superstitions today.
Bathe after attending a funeral ceremony
Logic: To prevent infection
In olden times there was no proper vaccination against smallpox, hepatitis, and other deadly diseases. So, these rituals were followed by our ancestors after attending the funeral ceremony in order to prevent infection from the dead body. Slowly, stories were cooked and these rituals were linked with the departed’s soul.
The mourning family of a dead person should not cook food until shraddha
Logic: Giving them time to cope and rest
The grief of losing a loved one is immense and to provide rest and to help them cope with the grief, the mourning members of the family were asked not to cook until Shraddha. But now, in Hindu religion is it a ritual that prevents cooking of food in the house of the deceased until the last rites are performed.
Don’t cut nails after sunset
Logic: one might get hurt in the absence of light.
Earlier there was the absence of electricity. Thus, clipping of nails was avoided during the night to protect one from cutting one’s hand with the sharp nail clipping tools. Nails were probably clipped during the day time in the presence of sunlight.
Sweeping the floor during evening brings bad luck
Logic: something important might get swept away in the dark
We all must have heard that sweeping the floor after sunset is believed to bring bad luck in the Indian society. Well, it was practiced in olden times, to avoid the sweeping away of precious things in the dark because of an absence of sunlight and electricity and slowly it got linked up with bad luck.
Eating curd and sugar before going out brings Good Luck
Logic: To keep one cool
The consumption of curd and sugar mixture before going out is linked with good luck. The actual fact behind this practice is that curd has a cooling effect on our stomach and it is recommended due to the tropical climate of India. And eating sugar before going out gives instant energy. Thus, curd and sugar is a good mixture before going out for work.
Swallow Tulsi leaves, never chew
Logic: Preventing degradation of Enamel
The sacred Tulsi leave is healthy but it does contain a little amount of Arsenic. Thus, chewing the leave might result in the degradation of enamel. That is why it should be swallowed and not chewed. The superstitions cooked around this is that Tulsi is an avatar of Goddess Lakshmi and hence it should be swallowed and not chewed.