Nepali superstition origins

The Surprising Origins Of 10 Common Nepali Superstitions

No matter how hard we try to deny it, all of us are at least a little bit superstitious. To be fair, it’s hard not to be when our parents and elders have engrained these beliefs into us. So even though we know these beliefs hold no actual weight, we still tend to think twice before crossing a road if we just saw a black cat cross it, or before cutting our nails after sunset.

But have you ever wondered where most of these superstitions stemmed from? Well, that’s what we’re discussing today.

You Shouldn’t Cut Your Nails At Night

This one is actually pretty straightforward. Back in the day, there were no nail cutters or outdoor lighting. So this was spread to ensure that people wouldn’t hurt themselves while cutting their nails with blades in the dark.

Forehead Dots On Babies To Ward Off Evil

You’ve probably seen babies who have kajal on also have black dots or some kind of black marks on their faces. Well, back in the day babies who put kajal on would look very beautiful and would be the object of envy for many. So in order to make babies look less beautiful, uglier even, the black dots were applied to their foreheads. This was a tactic to distract people from the baby’s eyes to this ‘ugly’ mark on their face. To this day, those black dots are considered to be protection and applied to babies.

Gifting An Odd Sum Of Money To Married Couples

It is customary for people to gift an odd sum of money to married couples. For example, if people want to gift Rs. 1000, they’ll usually end up giving Rs. 1005 or Rs. 1001. This is done so that the married couple cannot evenly divide the money amongst themselves and have to ‘stick together’.  It’s to signify that they’re both ‘one’ now. Although, some cultures also believe that the additional odd sum is there to wish that their fortunes never end in zero and keep on expanding.

Warding Off ‘Evil’ With Chili And Lemon

You must have seen lemon and chili tied to the entrances of many stores in order to ward off ‘evil’. This used to be done because lemon and chili were considered to be natural insect repellants. So it was actually kept to deter insects and bacteria, not spirits.

Itchy Palms Means Money Coming In

If you tend to get excited when your palms start to itch, don’t. The reason people believed this is because itchy palms were interpreted as a sign of hard work and productivity. And productivity = money. So unless you’re ready to work hard, itchy palms do not mean money will ‘come’ to you.

Black Cats Crossing The Road Means Bad Luck

This superstition is pretty universal. It originated from Ancient Europe where they believed black cats to be witches in disguise, so they were considered to be omens of death and bad luck. Although some people in the past also kept their distance from black cats as they considered them to be ‘dirty’ since they lived in cramped places and were, well, black.

Avoid Standing Under Peepal Trees At Night

This one is pretty scientific. Peepal trees are a species of plants that are very beneficial to the environment because of how much oxygen they give off. However as we all learnt in science class, plants need to breathe at night. So peepal trees also emit more carbon dioxide than most trees during night time. In the olden days, many people who slept under peepal trees would die due to suffocation. So they were considered dangerous during the nighttime.

Bathing After Attending a Cremation

This one is also pretty scientific. The burning of a corpse releases negative energy and bacteria, so it is customary for people to get into the shower as soon as they come back from a funeral to purge themselves of germs.

Eating While Standing Is Bad Luck

This isn’t actually bad luck, but sitting while eating is actually healthier than standing. This is because sitting (or sitting cross-legged as it really used to be) is a healthy posture for the body, and food is digested more quickly and efficiently like this.

Crows Cawing Is Bad Luck

Poor crows have been considered the omen of misfortune for years now! Although there is a reason for this. Whenever some kind of disaster would strike like fire, earthquakes, or floods; birds were the first ones to sense it. And since crows are the most common and the loudest birds, their cries were interpreted as a signal of something bad to come.

Did you know the origin behind these superstitions? Do you have more to share? Leave them in the comments. Follow us on Facebook at Yeti Yap for more.

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