17 Superstitions widely practised in India and abroad

Even though it is the 21st century, and we have been a witness to tremendous scientific and technological development, there are a few things that still occupy a place in our hearts defying all logic and rationality. People often do or believe in things which are far from being scientific. But they do it nevertheless. The reason being, people are full of superstitious beliefs. Here is a list of 17 common superstitions which are widely practiced all around country and some even across the globe.

1. The day Phobia


We have grown up used to the fact that, we shouldn’t cut our nails or get a haircut on specific days of the week. It is so naturally ingrained in our lifestyle that, we often forget, it is merely a superstitious belief which has been fed to us right from the birth. You can’t really rationalize that something bad will happen if you get a haircut on a Thursday.

2. The Number 13

This is what you call a global superstition. People abstain from doing or starting anything new on the 13th. They fear 13 as if it is meant to only harm you. Add this number to Friday and you get the most horrifying day, Friday the 13th. And, if you are thinking that it isn’t really that big a deal, Chandigarh doesn’t have a Sector 13.

3. Sneeze

Burnette woman blowing nose into tissue
While sneezing is a perfectly natural aspect of humans, it is considered a very bad omen if someone sneezes while you are going out. What I fail to understand is how one’s sneezing could have an effect on the other person’s well being. But then, superstitions do not really follow any logic.

4. Nazar Utarna

Nazar Utarna copy
The idea of positive and negative energy could probably be explained in some way or the other. But what can’t be explained is how could a couple of chilli and a lemon help stop the negative energy from entering your shop. Or, for that matter, how exactly a black dot on a small child does prevent any harm coming his way.

5. Sleeping with a scissor or a knife under your pillow

scissor or a knife under your pillow
Are you tired of having nightmares and getting up in the middle of night completely terrified? Well, you do not have to worry anymore. All you need to do is put a scissor or a knife under your pillow while sleeping and you are set. Isn’t life so simple with such easy solutions?

6. A broken glass/mirror is a precursor to quarrels


If you happen to have a broken glass or mirror at your home, dispose it as soon as possible, because failure to do so will certainly lead to quarrels in the near future. So, the next time you end up fighting with some random stranger on a street, go home and check if there’s an indisposed broken mirror.

7. The Black cat

The poor black cats could never understand what wrong had they done other than eat some rats to invite such hatred from the humans. Even if you are driving at 60kmph on a highway, you must stop if a black cat crossed the road, otherwise, you are inviting bad omen in your onward journey. Even if you are simply walking on the street, you should stop and let some pass by first. Imagine what you would do if you are walking alone on a street in the middle of night. Wait till someone else comes. You sure are going to get in trouble in that case.

8. Sweeping the floor in evening

Try sweeping the floor after sunset and you are inviting the wrath of the elders in your home. It is believed that doing so, leads to occurrence of bad things in life. Now, if you live in such fear, surely a bad thing could happen.

9. Teen Tigaada Kaam Bigaada

May be, once upon a time, there were three people who messed up something important. And since then, it has been a part of the belief system of many people. They think that if 3 people try to do something, the results will not be favorable.

10. Beginner’s luck

Beginner's luck

It is a concept close to the hearts of many people, especially those experts who lose to someone who is a novice in that field. However, the simple reasoning behind this could be lack of stress, a statistical fluke or the concept of confirmation bias.

11. Find a penny, pick it up

Although we are taught in school not to pick up things that do not belong to us, this particular superstition asks people to pick up a penny if they find one. Doing this is considered to bring good luck.

12. Do not walk under a ladder

not walk under a ladder
This one, even though is a superstition, mostly drives its logic from a practical viewpoint. After all, walking under the ladder could lead to injury if you disturb the balance of the ladder or the person standing on it. However, when practiced as an absolute rule, it is most certainly a superstition.

13. A rabbit’s foot brings good luck

Amulets and talisman have long been used to discourage evil forces and bring in good fortune. Early celtic tribes in Britain believe that a rabbit’s foot brings good luck to the people and family.

14. Crossing your fingers

cCrossing your fingers
People wishing for luck often cross their fingers to bring good luck. The gesture dates back to early Christianity. These days, however, just saying “fingers crossed” is good enough.

15. No Umbrellas

It is considered unlucky to open an umbrella indoors. This probably might be to avoid poking an umbrella in other people’s eyes. However, having said that, it is still a case of superstition.

16 Knock on wood

Man knocking on wood --- Image by © Michael Haegele/Corbis
The phrase is basically a form of verbal talisman. It is to keep the bad luck at a distance after tempting the fate. Similar phrases in many other languages are used in different communities to avoid upsetting the spiteful universe.

17 The itching hand

It is believed that itching hand is an indication that the individual will soon either gain or lose money based on which hand is itching.