Didactic Encyclopedia


Custom Search

Popular superstitions. Explanation of its origin


"Superstition" comes from the latin "super" (above) and "statuens" (establish), phrase that refers to the unspoken understanding that everyone knows that this is true, without having to look for a logical explanation. Etymologically, we could refer also to the word "superstitio", also of Latin origin, as contained in the dictionary as a belief "strange contrary to reason and religious faith". According to the medical doctor and writer Charles Panati, the early superstitions date from, at least 50 thousand years, when the man's life was as full of dangers and penalties that ended up developing beliefs and superstitious customs of all kinds to reassure his mood.
There are even those who give it as a human made per is, as "superstition cannot be adjusted to any definition, since it is more than a belief, is a way of life that governs man since this exists", and traced back it to the first stammerings of "homo sapiens". Tested it the remains of more than 500,000 years ago, when already superstitious type in the hills of the Dragon bone behaviors, given near Beijing, and 200,000 years ago in central Europe. The truth is that since its inception the man tried to explain their world and the mysteries surrounding him in a "supernatural" or superstitious way.
Primitive man, seeking explanations for phenomena such as lightning, Thunder, eclipses, birth and death, and ignorant of the laws of nature, created a scaffold of rituals and taboos which enabled him not only to understand natural phenomena, but also to protect themselves from a hostile environment inhabited by countless invisible spirits. On the other hand, the miracle that a tree would grow from a seed, or the appearance of a frog from a tadpole, confirmed an otherworldly intervention: the gods. With a daily life full of dangers, reached the conclusion that "his" world was inhabited by a vengeful spirits that outnumbered the beneficial.
This is one of the reasons why all superstitious beliefs that we have inherited are preponderance means intended to protect us from evil, such as amulets, talismans and default actions. In the same way, assigned to certain events and objects of positively or negatively influencing your life daily and future property. The most common superstitious manifestation is precisely your application in the form of 'good' or 'bad' luck according to daily events.

Explanation of the origin of some superstitions or popular beliefs:

Cross your fingers

When formulates a desire, it tells a lie or is one danger, it is customary to cross them fingers, particularly the largest on the index. The gesture, evoking a cross, away evil influences, according to the superstitious and conjures bad luck. From the earliest days of Christianity, it was believed that turning the thumb under the other fingers, are away to ghosts and evil spirits, or by the operation with two hands and letting the thumb to peek between the index finger consecrated to Jupiter, and the largest, dedicated to Saturn Sin finger. However, some authors believe that, although the symbolism of the Holy Cross in this gesture is obvious, the first origin is much more primitive than the cross Christian and dates back to the ancient pagan times.

The fate of the rabbit's foot

The strange tradition of carrying a rabbit's foot in the Pocket for luck was not born of this animal, but the Hare. There was the belief that witches transformed themselves into hares to suck the milk of the women who had given birth in medieval regions of Europe. But this belief was born? In the past, goats, cows, pigs, hares and other farmed animals entered freely in the House of their masters, since the family took advantage of their body heat to protect themselves from the cold winter. The peasants bred hares to eat them and cared for them with care and affection. In fact, for example, the ancient Britons thought that these animals were magical creatures that we even had to avoid eating.
Some treaties of the time mentioned that pregnant and during the time of lactation women were accustomed to sit in a corner of the home and put in one of these noble animals lap so I warm them. In return, they left the Hare to take his chest. The popular tradition; as already mentioned, he said that during the witch hunt, they transformed themselves into hares and getting in the houses of the peasants to save from danger. Even had a way of recognizing deception: If the Hare, once trapped, was difficult to Flay or Cook, then the witch had become animal before he died. The idea that the Hare foot brings good luck born of the primitive belief that the bones of his legs heal gout and other rheumatism as well as cramps. But, to be effective, the bone should be a joint intact. [To be so similar, the Hare and e] rabbit joined as it frute of superstition concerning magic virtues.

Put your hand in front of the mouth to the yawning

The gesture today to cover your mouth when we we yawn not simply due to the intention to save forms, hiding the denture or the desire not to spread germs, but it has a deeper meaning.
In the book superstition I heard Ireland, Sperenza Wilde can be read that making the sign of the cross in front of the mouth to the yawning prevented that the devil is introduced into the body and established his dwelling in it. This is why by what mothers closed the baby's mouth or made the sign of the cross in front of her when they saw him yawning. Of this ancestral custom derived the current gesture of cover your mouth.

Stand with your right foot

Tradition says, that day is not twisted, should support the right foot first. The response to this custom could find in the world of the fishermen. During the 19th century, no fisherman sane came aboard to port, i.e., the left side of the boat, though it was uncomfortable
doing to starboard. It seems that superstition arises from the notion that anything left-handed was unnatural an idea that is based on that the majority of humans are right-handed.
As a general rule, all k which refers to the right is described as favorable by the superstitious, perhaps encouraged by the biblical tradition, which says that the right conesponde to the way to paradise and is the position in which the elect by God are sitting.
The left represents the reverse of the coin. The Romans, for example, omens were observing the flight of birds: those who did this side were ominous. In fact, in latin, left says gadis, which gave origin to the sinister adjective.

Fear of shadows

In the past, the credulous people sought in shadows projected trunks which were burning in the fireplace the image of a human figure without a head. This meant that the person who projected it would die before the next Christmas Eve. This was the term for Christians, but other celestial or seasonal dates were used in former times.
There is no doubt that the shadows occupy an important part of the fears related to the body, since its presence or absence, as happened to the fictional Peter Pan character, it was originally linked with religious and Pagan beliefs.
The oldest interpretations of body and soul claimed that the second could, under certain circumstances, abandon the carnal envelope and away on their way to the afterlife. For the most primitive cultures, the soul was connected to the shadows, when they were not the same thing. One of the circumstances in which the person could lose the soul was happening when a vampire approaching from behind and nailed to the shade of the victim on the wall. In this way, the malignant entity took possession of the body.
The shade of the deceased also had to protect it from potential misfortunes. In medieval Europe, there was the belief that, if a person died overnight and his spirit - or what is the same, his shadow - moved away, could risk that crossed by an extension of water - a river, a lake - and could not reach the afterlife. In this case, the shadow returned the body of its owner and became a walking dead, a variety of vampire. Hence was born the custom of some cover barrels containing rainwater and eagerness of certain peoples to build bridges.

Touch wood

For many a century before Christianity, the Celtic peoples of Europe worshipped the trees as the Temple of Holiness and the main presentation of the gods was the Earth. The tree served half com to send the medical condition, or evil to the Earth. Also resorted to this vegetable s bad luck visited m man in the form of demons or if it was going to be a battle. In these and other cases the Druid priest celebrated a series of rites and spells in booths calls sacred, places that was equivalent to the modern churches.
There are, besides, who says that superstitions relating to the wood are also born of the material with which the cross of Jesús Resultado of these beliefs is made is our habit of touching wood sign di good luck, since this traps the evil spirit makes it fall to Earth.

Open umbrella indoors

No superstitious would never have dared to open an umbrella inside a House. The origin of this fear goes back to the time that the Oriental and African kings used it only as an umbrella to protect yourself from the Sun's rays. Because of its connection with the star King and because their shape also symbolizes the solar disk, open it in a shaded place, outside the domains of the Sun, was considered a sacrilege.
It is likely that superstition would reinforce when the umbrella came to Europe and began to be used almost exclusively by the priests at the offices of the deceased, another endless protected from the weather.

The seven lives of the cat

The exceptional resistance and strength of the cat, able to di unscathed out of situations where other animals would perish with all security, took wing idea that this cat had more than one life.
There is no doubt that their nocturnal habits, your sparkling eyes in the darkness, their outstanding agility and its majestic pose contributed to that our ancestors felt a special admiration, and even veneration, by this animal. It is said that, for example, Mahoma cut the sleeve of her dress not to disturb the dream of his cat sleeping on it. The Prophet saw in him "a creature worthy of greater respect and caring treatment".
Esoteric origin is possibly the reason that cats are granted popularly up to seven lives. There are many cultures for which the numbers have a specific meaning. In our case, seven was considered a number of good luck, in ancient times it was a Trinity of Trinities"and, therefore, suitable for the feline.

Black funeral dress

The ancient custom of dress in black at funerals, widespread in all Western culture, is intended to mean a manifestation of respect for the deceased. However, the origin of this tradition is not so clear. Various anthropological studies agree as its possible source ancestral fear of the living to be possessed by the spirits of the dead. Thus, the funeral rites primitive men painted their bodies in black to prevent, to be camouflaged, that the soul of the deceased be found a new body where to settle.
This hypothesis is corroborated by the fact that the inhabitants of certain African tribes cover your skin with white ashes at funerals, so hiding the black colour of the epidermis at the sight of the spirits. Something similar also happens in India, where traditionally the color of mourning is white, as opposed to the swarthy complexion of its inhabitants.

Breaking a mirror

The mirror-related superstitions are among the most cited in the Christian West, perhaps for divinatory use. Catoptromancy, i.e. the art of guessing by the mirror, comes from Persia and, though he had a relative success during the ancient Greece and the middle ages, was severely persecuted by the Church.
It is likely, however, that these superstitions obey to the idea that our reflection is another version of the original and, if we cause defects in the mirror, we damage ourselves. Thus, damage the mirror is to do the same with the soul, and this is where comes the superstition that breaking a mirror brings bad luck for seven years. This period is due to the belief that the body experiences a change in physiological Constitution every seven years.

The Horseshoe hung on the door

From Italy, the belief of the horseshoes to attract good luck was very stained on account by the people of the villages. Stuck or hung on a door, this object would attract the energies of heaven. The Horseshoe symbolizes the strength of the horse and its enormous utility, at least in the past, in the work of the yen field wars. Turn to the right side and in a horizontal position represents the C, initial of Christ.
Another legend attributed to St. Dunstan having given to the Horseshoe, hung on the door of a House, a special power against evil. Blacksmith by profession but that he would become Archbishop of Canterbury in the year 959, Dunstan was one day visited by a man who asked a few horseshoes for your feet, feet suspiciously similar to hoof. Dunstan realized that it was Satan and explained that, to perform its task, it was necessary to chain him to the wall. Thus, the Holy sought that his work would be so painful that own chained Devil asked for mercy.
Dunstan was denied until the devil swore not never come into a house where they had a Horseshoe hung on the door. But I could not hang in any way; ends should be facing up, because otherwise your booking's luck was emptied.

Spilling salt

Bad luck, if this happens when handling the salt shaker, unless that rush to take a hint and throw it over the left shoulder directly "to the face of the devil". Because this is the place from which Pedro Botero, that is, the devil, wait patient for our sinful nature to renounce the soul forever. Thrown salt has no other purpose that blinded him temporarily, so spirit will have time to be established by good luck. Since the ancient Greece, salt has had a great symbolic power: comes from mother earth, sea; tears and saliva are salty, and preserves, seasoned and enriched foods.

Pull the ears as greeting

The ear is the subject of numerous symbolism between Oriental and African civilizations: represents from the cosmic intelligence of the hindu myth of Vaishvanara, to sexuality for tribes dogon and bambara, Mali. Interestingly, among the Chinese, long ears are a sign of wisdom and immortality. He is said that Lao-tse tabs measuring 17 inches. Named is, moreover, long ears.
Most likely, we have inherited somehow this superstitious habit. Pulling of the ears, we express the desire of the praised person have long life and acquire ever greater wisdom.

Say health sneeze

The Egyptians and Greeks saw an omen in sneezing. It was so good to sneeze in the afternoon, while doing so when you get up from bed or table could be disastrous. One who had sneezed at birth were you blessed nest. Left sneezing was a sign of bad luck, but I tell well, right. Er all cases, the Greeks said Vivid! and you keep that Zeus! Furthermore, the Romans employed the expression, hail!, before such circumstance; and the first Christians would be who replaced pagan gods by his invocation.
It is said that during the plague epidemic that took place in Rome in the year 591, under the pontificate of Gregorio 1, the affected died sneeze do, and that such circumstances comes the Dios te bless than later be simplified to saying health!, Jesus!! or former similar pressures.

Aversion to yellow

It is superstition among stakeholders, especially Theatre, not go scene with yellow clothes, since it may lead to failure or even worse the reason of this fright is playwright and French actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (1622-1673), called Molière.
In February 1673, Molière premiered the ballet-comedia the imaginary invalid, that taken by his satire target physicians. A few days after the premiere, in full representation, the playwright became ill, and died a few hours later at his home. Representation, Molière wore yellow clothes.

The black cat

In the world of mysticism, cats are carriers of a magical power that is infinitely superior to that of the man. In all likelihood, this ancient belief derived from the worship of the Egyptian goddess Bubastis, which had form of cat. The Egyptians believed that cats have soul, and proof of this are the remains, mummified of these cats, which are counted by thousands, found in archaeological excavations.
In the middle ages, witches turned the black cat into an essential element to perform their rituals and spells. Today, the superstitious fear the black cat that crosses his way. This fact clearly represents the conflict which existed between the Church, the cross and the pagan practices of witchcraft.

Pass under a ladder

This and other superstitions associated with the ladders are related to fear to the scaffold. In the past, due to the great height that it used to have, had to use a ladder to place the rope in the correct position, as well as to remove after the body of the condemned. Anyone who passed below the staircase was in danger of being with the dead. Hence comes the superstition.

Friday the 13th

Since ancient times, the number 13 has been fatal, mainly due to the violent death suffered by various thirteenth gods of antiquity, and how not!, the fate of the thirteenth guest at the last supper of Jesus. On the other hand, on Friday acquired the Saxon world reputation of unlucky day, due to the death of Jesus. Obviously, the coincidence of the number 13 and Friday can not be worse aguero's.

Placing flowers on graves

Currently, the graves are decorated with flowers as a sign of affection, but the original intent was that the provide something alive in order to give happiness. The circular Crown, placed on the Tomb or the main gate of the cemetery, symbolically locked the spirit and prevented him from returning.

List of some superstitions:

• Blue butterflies are a symbol of good omen.
• Keep a dollar in the portfolio will bring lots of money.
• Put elephants back to the gate in odd numbers, will attract good things for the inhabitants of the House.
• When the right Palm itching, feels means that it will soon receive money.
• To register evil one or both half should leave them so until 12 pm, because this will bring luck.
• Touch wood whenever it expresses a desire, will make that this is fulfilled.
• To whom cutting fingernails Monday, never hurt wheels.
• When someone brags about something, "never I have broken a bone", for example have to touch wood immediately continue the good luck that so far has accompanied him.
• If a mirror is broken there is a remedy to counteract its hex: picking up the pieces of the mirror and put them in a bucket with water for seven days and seven nights.
• Brings good luck to find in the morning someone with a wooden leg. No looking back and follow it with the view because then you will have a disgust.
• Own objects of scented wood is omen of good luck.
• If you spill salt, the average re is take a little bit of l would spilt salt and throw it back above the left shoulder.?
• Evil agüero that causes hear or say the word "snake", is it counteracts exclaiming "lizard! Lizard! "." On the bed, never...
• If you catch a lizard with your hand and lick him from head to tail, it will acquire the power to heal burns with the language.
• Pass an egg through the eyelids improves the view.
• Lengthens life if you eat the first egg laid by a black hen.
• If an egg has two buds will bring good luck to the person who break it and discover it.
• Children playing with fire will urinate in bed.
• A dish with salt under the bed of a sick person absorbs evil and protects it against other diseases.
• If a spider is seen in the morning predicts a bad week, noon predicts a joy and night predicts that a wish will be fulfilled.
• When a spider weaves, someone prepares a hoax.
• Small spiders are bearers of good luck and if there is one you have to throw it over the left shoulder.
• If a spider is killed or destroyed a fabric you will attract bad luck.
• If a spider is visible down to the wire, will rain; on the other hand, if it goes up, it will make good time.
• If salt in the corners of the blocks thrown the day first of April to prevent livestock diseases.
• It is an omen of death that chopsticks standing in a bowl of rice
• Brings bad luck to see an OWL's day.
• If a candle is turned off during a ceremony, the evil spirits walk about.
• If an umbrella is dropped to the ground, there will be a murder in the House.
• To contain bleeding nasa must make a cross with two straws of enea torn from the seat of a Chair and put them in the Crown of the patient, but it also serves to place them on the shoulder of the patient.
• Nosebleeds are contained by putting two crossed knives, on the back of the patient or by lifting the arm opposite to the nostril which is tapped, and putting iron wrench at the nape of the neck.
• To contain the haemorrhage in childbirth must meet all irons and lagan noise things to pull them by surprise under the bed of the parturient. Hemorrhage is cut by the shock received.
• Gives good luck playing a hunchback hump.
• Meet with a lame is sign a misfortune or a disappointment.
• When starting a wart, blood that falls from the place where it was made to grow new warts.
• Food will be lost if it is stirring in the opposite direction to the movement of the Sun.
• Scissors targeting a person suggests that if this is single, she will never marry, and if married is, which will be the subject of infidelity.
• When scissors fall to the ground, the person that directed its tip will be victim of an evil or immediate misfortune.
• Should never give scissors, except that a coin is given to change or click previously to the person who is receiving the gift.
• Two people at the same time should not remove table (utensils and tablecloths), because one of them will die that year.
• Leaving scraps of dinner on the table during the night brings bad luck.
• Brings bad luck dropping food from the fork in the road from plate to mouth.
• If during the night table is covered with a white tablecloth, soon there will be a death in the House.
• Gives bad luck give knives, because they break the friendship.
• If a woman wants to become pregnant must plant parsley, although if you eat it will prevent it.
• Hair grow if it spread with parsley, crushed in a wooden pestle.
• A dove cut in half and placed at the foot of the patient low fever. If you put it in the header it cures headaches, delirium, melancholy and insanity.
• If pigeons bathing are is a sign that there will soon be a change of the time.
• Should never be a boyfriend to see her wedding dress before the entrance to the Church or to the Court.
• If the groom twisted day wedding tie means to be unfaithful.
• The guests at a wedding should throw rice to the bride and groom to ensure their offspring.
• The day of the wedding the bride should not be beads, because they symbolise tears and will thus bring
many throughout the marriage.
• Do not have to marry in January to avoid economic problems throughout the entire marriage.
• The cord of the children should be burned because if it is eaten by a dog or a cat, the child will be a criminal.
• If two people yawn at the same time will have a match in their lives.
• If two people yawn, one after the other, the last one that has bostezado has good intentions with respect to the first.
• It is of evil agüero leak involuntarily salt or dropping a salt shaker: that fatal mistake responsible for stripping as many tears as grains of salt have disappeared.
• Who stomps spilled salt will have trouble if it's someone who is going to marry soon, will not meet this purpose.
• That which pursues break the happiness of a newly-wed couple enough to throw salt on the bridal bed.
• Children born with teeth are unlucky and your future is to end up being criminals.
• If the teeth leave a child soon her mother will be pregnant again right away, but the newborn child will not have a very long life.
• If the upper teeth leave a child first will have a long life. Conversely, if first leave you the lower, its life will be short.
• Who has the separate upper incisor teeth will have wealth, prosperity and will travel regularly.
• If you are dreams that a tooth protrudes from others or dropped predicts a family misfortune. If the tooth is pulled out it is bad omen and if a perfect tooth means an equity increase.
• When they leave beads in the language is sign that said a lie.
• Cut fingernails on Monday or Friday so not them painful wisdom teeth.
• Nails should be cut Friday as this is an unlucky day.
• Not out the stepfathers, not cut the nails on days of the week that have erre.
• Which cut the hair on Friday will raise scabies or lice.
Article translated for educational purposes from:  Planeta Sedna 


Custom Search