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India's favorite superstitions!
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A black cat crosses your path and you go back, a crow caws and visitors are expected. A lizard falls on your head and you live in fear of death! Are these omens or figments of an over-active imagination? Did old wives have nothing better to do than cook up tales to frighten generations ever after? Irrespective of the veracity of these, they make for great reading. Read on for a sampling of some Indian ones!
 
Here are some evergreen Indian superstitions!
  • Do not ever leave home without consulting an astrologer. Rahu and Ketu, two ominous planets, are waiting to ruin things for you. Wait for the shubh mahurat, based on the Hindu calendar. This also holds true for weddings, naming ceremonies, housewarming rites and everything in life!

  • Consult a horoscope before getting your children married. Go ahead only if the virtues and gunas match perfectly.

  • Seeing an elephant during a journey is auspicious as Ganesha, the God who removes obstacles will ensure success.

  • A dog howling at night chills the blood – a portent of approaching death.

  • When leaving home, it is auspicious to see a bride, a Brahmin or an religious idol. However, sighting a widow or a barren woman is not lucky!

  • A new bride is judged by the fortunes or misfortunes that occur in her new family for a year after marriage. She enters her new home putting her right foot first.

  • Mensturating women are regarded unclean and are isolated. They cannot enter the kitchen till they are ‘clean’ again.

  • Pregnant women are not allowed to travel alone at night or enter an uninhabited home because ghosts might possess them. They should read religious books and watch inspiring movies so that the child grows up to be a good person.

  • Hiccups indicate someone is thinking of you. But an itchy eye refers to someone maligning you, or your envy of someone.

  • A barber shop remains closed on Tuesday as hair is not cut on that day.

  • Nails should not be cut at night for fear of evil spirits.

  • Twitching of the eye is highly inauspicious.

  • An eclipse occurs when Rahu and Ketu swallow the sun, and people avoid eating anything, and go and take a dip in rivers after it is over.

  • When there is a birth or death in the family, the members are unclean, and do not go to the temple till the stipulated period is over. 
These colorful customs, no matter how absurd, keep the religious folk busy and the irreverent ones in mirth.
 
Many of these customs came about for perfectly valid reasons in the past, but don’t you feel that they are now being followed only as mere rites? What is your favorite superstition? Do you believe in any aof the ones we listed here?
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