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What are some examples of superstitious beliefs?A superstitous belief is the...

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ejsmashfile | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 13, 2009 at 4:36 AM via web

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What are some examples of superstitious beliefs?

A superstitous belief is the irrational belief than an object,or action, and an occurring event are somehow related.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 13, 2009 at 5:16 AM (Answer #2)

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Different cultures have traditionally held differing superstitous beliefs, beliefs that are deemed "irrational."  Such beliefs go back to ancient cultures such as the Greeks and Romans, who believed that natural occurrences were a result of actions of the gods.  Such fear of the gods, deisidaimonia, was what the Romans meant by supersitition.

In Western cultures, some superstitions actually caused more bad luck such as the belief in England that cats were witches and that they were the cause of the Plague.  By killing off the cats, the English caused the rat population to flourish, and, thus increase disease.  Of course, cats have been part of superstitious beliefs for ages.  The black cat crossing one's path denotes bad luck, for example.  Cats are also supposed to suck the breath away from babies, killing them.

Many superstitious beliefs are connected to religion.  For instance, if one holds out a cross or wears one, the person can ward off evil.  Certain talismans worn or hung in houses, were to have warded off evil.  Saint Gregory I the Great ordered that people say "God Bless You" when someone sneezed in order to ward off disease.

One of the oddest superstitions seems that of wishing an actor to "break a leg" when one wishes him/her well. But, at one time someone said, "Good luck" and the actor broke a leg.  So now people in the acting field say the opposite in order to ward off bad luck.  At any rate, at least this one makes sense when one knows its origin. 

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 13, 2009 at 5:35 AM (Answer #3)

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That's an easy one for me, particularly b/c we are Spanish and we have loads of superstitions. Let's start with New Year's Eve

1. Eat 12 grapes to guarantee food on the table all year long

2. Gather water all day long, and at midnight throw the water out the window/door - purification

3. Throw four pennies at midnight and make a wish for each of "the four lucks": money, romance, health, fate

In the South (Alabama) we make a meal in which the ingredients are symbols: Black Eyed peas for luck, pork skin or pork for health/food on the table, collard greens for money

Other Spanish superstitions I can tell you of are:

4. Doing the cross sign each time we pass a cemetery to bless the gone

5. Doing the cross sign if we happen to hear the voice of a loved one (dead or alive) when they aren't present, for they may need us from wherever they are.

6. Saying "blessings" instead of "hello" (or both) when we call our loved ones.

7. Not keeping objects that come from the ocean (respect)

8. Naming a child after the Saint to which the day is dedicated

9. Of course, beware of broken mirrors.

10. If you are pregnant, stare at nice pictures of healthy babies all the time so your kids can adopt the traits.

----I can tell u about 10,000 more (literally)= Don't get me started, ha ha.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted June 13, 2009 at 6:23 AM (Answer #4)

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To my knowledge the most superstitious belief common in Western World is the one about number thirteen. I was surprised to find out that many multi-storied buildings in Jersey City, USA, which I visited last year have no floor numbered thirteen. The floor directly above the floor number twelve is marked fourteen instead of thirteen because of this superstition.

Two other superstition that I frequently come across are about "crossing fingers" to ward off some bad luck, and "touching wood" when you speak about some thing good or desirable, so that it will continue to be that way.

I believe, the superstition about Fridays, particularly in combination with the date thirteen is quite common.

Most common superstition in India that I have come across is a belief that if you sneeze once when you are just starting  work on something or when just leaving to go somewhere, then you are likely to fail on whatever your task. This bad luck somehow gets cancelled by a second sneeze.

Also in India many people believe in astrology, which is considered superstition by many.

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marilynn07 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted June 13, 2009 at 10:16 AM (Answer #5)

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  • Walking under a ladder is supposed to be bad luck, and it is if a tool falls on your head or if you dislocate the ladder and the person on the ladder falls down.
  • If a black cat crosses your path, it is a sign of bad luck, the person should go the other way to avoid bad luck.
  • An upright horse-shoe nailed to a gate post is supposed to be lucky.
  • Spilling salt is unlucky, and if you do spill salt, you are supposed to get some of the spilled salt and throw it over your left shoulder.
  • Sweeping dust out of the house on New Years Day is unlucky as it is throwing your money away.
  • Eating certain foods on New Years day is supposed to bring health, wealth, and good fortune.
  • On your wedding day wear something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new.
  • Predicting the gender of a baby was done by suspending the wedding ring over the belly of the pregnant woman.  If it swung in a circle, the baby was a girl, if in a vertical line, the baby was a boy.  This worked for all three of my kids. Hmmm...maybe there is something to this?
  • If you hear an owl hoot, someone will die.
  • Knock on wood 3 times if you say something positive so as not to jinx yourself.

These are just a few of the superstitions I know from my life in rural Tennessee.  There are tons of superstitious beliefs about a variety of things ranging from sports to farming.  The main thing is that superstitious beliefs come from coincidental occurrences that are connected with an action thought to be related to the event. In reality, there is no connection between the superstition and the actual occurrence of an event.

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fonzyy | Student , Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 13, 2009 at 6:35 PM (Answer #6)

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  • Night bathing - bathing at night is equal to a cup of blood loss.
  • Black cats - get ready for bad luck if you see one.
  • Umbrellas inside the house - you will drown the next time you swim.
  • No reds allowed - don't wear red when there's lightning, or else it may strike you.
  • Broken reflection - 7 years of bad luck if you break a mirror.
  • PLEASE ADD ME AS 1 OF UR FRIENDS..THANKS BABY
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ms-charleston-yawp | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted June 22, 2009 at 4:31 PM (Answer #7)

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  1. Never let a black cat cross your path.
  2. Never walk under a ladder.
  3. Cover your mouth when you yawn, or you may allow a demon to enter or your soul to escape.
  4. Always throw a pinch of salt over your shoulder.
  5. Never spill the salt.
  6. Never break a mirror.
  7. Don't ever tell someone in the theater "good luck" before a performance, simply say "break a leg."
  8. Don't have anything to do with the number 13 or 666.
  9. Eat black-eyed peas on New Years Day to bring you good luck.
  10. A bride must wear the following on her wedding day for good luck:  something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.
  11. And for goodness sake, . . . never EVER watch the video featured in The Ring.  ; )
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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 26, 2011 at 8:05 AM (Answer #8)

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There are so many superstitions. Friday the thirteenth is a scary day. Black cats are bad luck. Don't walk under a ladder. Breaking a mirror brings you seven years bad luck. There are examples from every culture, and they are somewhat similar to these.
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aynah | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:45 AM (Answer #9)

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I live in india and people here are highly superstitious. They do anything and evrything for the sake of their's and their ancestor's belief. i've discussed some of them below.. Kindly see if my effort satisfies u -

when you are going out -these are considered bad---
1.some one asks you 'where are you going?'
2. some body sneeze odd no; of times
3. a widow, a single Brahman or a man carrying oil or milk or a cat crossing your path.
4. going below the ladder.
5. hitting your head or feet on the thresh hold.


these are considered good--
1. eating curds with jaggery
2. sighting an elephant or braying of a donkey.sound made by lizards
others--not good
3. milk over-flowing 
2. spilling of oil, turmeric
3. hair-cutting on Tuesdays or in evenings
4. lizard falling on head
5. keeping money inside the bag meant for carrying your purchase.
6. travelling during in auspicious time
7. getting married on New moon day,or during certain months
8. not lending or borrowing after sun set ( lighting the lamp in the evening )
9. exchanging things across the the threshhold.

others :-

itching of left palm--money gain
right eye twitching --good for men
left eye twitching good for women.
there are many more--depending upon the different regions in India.

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aynah | Student , Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted July 6, 2012 at 7:47 AM (Answer #10)

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I live in india and people here are highly superstitious. They do anything and evrything for the sake of their's and their ancestor's belief. i've discussed some of them below.. Kindly see if my effort satisfies u -

when you are going out -these are considered bad---
1.some one asks you 'where are you going?'
2. some body sneeze odd no; of times
3. a widow, a single Brahman or a man carrying oil or milk or a cat crossing your path.
4. going below the ladder.
5. hitting your head or feet on the thresh hold.


these are considered good--
1. eating curds with jaggery
2. sighting an elephant or braying of a donkey.sound made by lizards
others--not good
3. milk over-flowing 
2. spilling of oil, turmeric
3. hair-cutting on Tuesdays or in evenings
4. lizard falling on head
5. keeping money inside the bag meant for carrying your purchase.
6. travelling during in auspicious time
7. getting married on New moon day,or during certain months
8. not lending or borrowing after sun set ( lighting the lamp in the evening )
9. exchanging things across the the threshhold.

others :-

itching of left palm--money gain
right eye twitching --good for men
left eye twitching good for women.
there are many more--depending upon the different regions in India.

please ignore the numbering pattern.. That is no superstition :)

 

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gelsaied | Student , College Freshman | Honors

Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:19 PM (Answer #11)

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Here is a list of some of the most common ones:

1. Wearing a garlic necklace around ones neck repells vampires.

2. Crossing ones fingers is good luck.

3. Walking under a ladder is bad luck.

4. Breaking a mirror gives you seven years bad luck.

5. friday the thirteenth is a bad day.

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yukyukco | eNoter

Posted February 26, 2014 at 6:03 AM (Answer #12)

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examples of superstitious beliefs

>You will have bad luck for 7 years if you break a mirror. 

>If a bird comes in your home someone is going to die. 

>When you pass by a cemetary, hold your breath or the ghosts can slip into your body. 

>Don't walk under ladders, it's bad luck. 

>Don't ever kill crickets when they are found inside the house, as crickets are believed to bring good luck to your home. 

>Don't open an umbrella indoors, as this will bring bad luck.

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