|Tom, standing at the beach enjoying the early evening sky and the sea.|
Today’s photos are from this date while staying in a condo overlooking Maalaea Beach, Maui, Hawaii, in 2014. For the story and more photos from this date, please click here.
We’ve never been particularly superstitious. Friday the 13th has never been a date that caused us any concern, although many worldwide have cultural superstitions and fears eliciting certain practices and customs. In the US, there are several common superstitions, such as walking under a ladder; crossing the path of a black cat; spilling salt; a hat on the bed; breaking a mirror; knocking on wood; finding a penny for good luck, and making a wish using a wishbone (from poultry) and of course, Friday the 13th.
|Across the bay, it’s still Maui based on the island’s shape.|
Superstitions may be different in other cultures, with many of significance and freely observed by many Indian people. They include, from this site:
“Hanging lemon and seven green chilies
India believes that ‘Alakshmi,’ the goddess of misfortune, can bring bad luck to the shop owners or businesses. Since she likes sour, pungent, and hot things, shop owners in India hang lemon and seven green chilies on their door so that the goddess eat her favorite food, satisfy her hunger and leave without entering the shop.
If a black cat crosses your path, it’s a bad omen.
Just because they are black cats? Not just in India, but this is a popular belief in the west too. The origin of this superstition came from the Egyptians, who believed that black cats were evil creatures and they brought bad luck. In India, black colour is generally associated with Lord Shani. It is said that if a black cat crosses your path, then you should let somebody else pass before you do. This way, the first person will have all the bad luck, and you won’t.
Breaking mirror brings bad luck.
It is said that in earlier times, mirror used to be very expensive but brittle. To avoid negligence, the ancient people from Rome started preaching that breaking mirrors would bring you seven years of bad luck. Why seven years? This is because Romans believe that it takes seven years for life to renew itself. So, the image of a person, who does not have good health, will break the mirror, and after seven years, his life will renew itself, and he’ll be in good health.
|Hawaii is a treasure trove of exquisite vegetation.|
Twitching of the eye is inauspicious.
The superstition is different in different cultures. It is considered good luck in some cultures and wrong in some others. It differs according to gender as well. Since it is related to the eyes, there are many scientific reasons behind the twitching of the eyes. Eye twitching could be due to stress, alcohol, tiredness, allergies, strain, or just dry eyes.
Removing evil eye (Nazar Utaarna)
Putting a little dot of kohl on the side of a child’s forehead is very common in India. The practice is called Nazar Utaarna. It is done to protect the little kid from any evil eyes and prevent anyone from putting a negative vibe over the kid. The evil eye can cause severe damage to whom it turns. It is said that putting a black spot on a child’s forehead will make the child look ugly to the evil powers, and hence, the kid will stay protected.
Adding one rupee to a gift sum
At weddings and special occasions, we Indians generally like to gift money, and it won’t be 100 or 1,000 but 101 or 1,001. We add one rupee coin to the entire sum. It is considered a blessing, love, and luck. But, the main reason to add that extra coin is to make the whole sum an odd number, and it will be indivisible. It is suitable for the married couple. If we don’t add one rupee coin, the sum will end in a zero, which means ‘the end.’
|This almost looks like a scene from New England by the sea.|
Do not sweep after sunset.
Goddess Lakshmi will walk out of your house if you sweep your place after sunset. In a country where we pray to goddess Lakshmi to bestow wealth on us, any idea that leads to her walking out is considered inauspicious. Why sunset? This is because it is believed that the goddess generally pays a visit after sunset, so if you sweep your place after sunset, she won’t come in.
Don’t go near a Peepal tree in the night
Peepal is one tree the ghosts like to hover around, and if you sleep around a peepal tree at night, the ghosts will kill you. Do you know that plants and living beings keep a balance in nature? In the morning, when the photosynthesis is occurring in them, they absorb carbon dioxide, change it into energy and give out oxygen in the air we breathe in. Still, in the night, the opposite reaction occurs. At night, plants exhale carbon dioxide while there is a lack of sunlight. Animals sleep under trees all the time. Why don’t we see all of them dead next morning?”
|A pretty tropical flower.|
This list could go on and on with more obscure superstitions observed by those who tend to find strong belief in these age-old practices, some making logical sense and others not so much.
While we toured India many months ago, we observed and participated in many customs that were not necessarily superstitions, as explained here:
“By superstition, we generally mean a belief in supernatural causes, beliefs that link events together without proof or reason, especially when these ideas are conventional outside thought. A black cat walks in front of you – it means bad luck – that is a typical superstition. Walking down the aisle – that is a custom.”
|At around 5:30 pm, Tom spotted this rainbow. It hadn’t rained.|
Tomorrow, we’ll share the “customs” we observed as tourists in India with suggestions for those with plans to visit India in the future.
Tom just mentioned that in 2020 there were two Friday the 13ths. The other was on March 13th, the day we stopped touring India, when the cruise we’d booked from Mumbai beginning on April 3, 2020, was canceled on March 12th. Go figure.
Photo from one year ago today, November 13, 2019:
|On this date, it was snowing in Minneapolis and the suburbs, and the roads were slippery. For more, please click here.|