8 Indian Superstitious Beliefs And The Scientific Reasons Behind Them

The Indian culture has a long history and no matter what part of the country you stay in, we are all raised with certain superstitions that stay with us for a lifetime. They are usually passed on by the elders in the family and form a major chunk of our childhood and boy, don’t we all take them seriously?

As we grow older, we realize how most of these superstitions actually have a solid scientific reason behind them. The logical reasons turned into folklores over time and got passed on with the same story and even though most of the reasons are not relevant in today’s time but we still tend to continue following these beliefs.

1) Cats Crossing Your Path Will Bring Bad Luck 

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During the ancient times, people would travel long distances on bullock carts that were pulled by horses and cattle. Their journey would include crossing dense forest sometimes where there was a constant risk of crossing paths with big cats like the tiger, leopard of hyenas and hence the travelers would stop the minute they stopped glowing eyes. Travelers would get back and share their stories about the big cat experience and with time people replaced these forest cats with domestic cats and would stop their vehicle every time a cat crossed the road.

2) You Shouldn’t Cut Hair On Tuesdays 

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Back in days, a majority of the Indian population was into farming and after a long week, they would usually rest and finish their personal chores on Monday hence on Tuesdays the barber didn’t really have a lot to do so they would keep their shops closed. This practice is still continued but the relevant reason is not known to a lot of people.

3) Hanging Lemon And Green Chillies 

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It is believed that Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune likes sour and pungent things and hence when she tries to enter the shop or the house, she will eat the lemon and chilies, satisfy her hunger and leave. She will lose the urge to enter the house and will leave without casting an evil eye. However, the logic behind this is that the cotton thread which is used to pierce the chilies and lemon absorbs the acid from the fruit whilst it is fresh. This smell keeps the pests and insects away from the shops. This was an ancient practice and is followed even today but the reason has changed over time.

4) Cutting Nails After Sunset 

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Back then when there was no electricity, people avoided cutting nails and shaving because it would often lead to injury and hence our ancestors advised us not to do all of this after sunset. However, this got associated with the spirits waking up and wandering in the night seeking human flesh.

5) Bats Entering The House Means Death 

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A lot of people believe in the fact that if a bad enters the house more than three times, he is bringing the death of a family member and is considered to be a bad omen. The real reason behind this superstition is that the bats bring a lot of deadly diseases along with them and when there was no medical facility available during those times, people would die due to rabies, Ebola, Hendra, Nipah and other illnesses brought in by the bats.

6) Do Not Sweep The House After Sunset 

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It is said that sweeping the house after sunset will bring bad luck and poverty but the actual reason behind this myth was the fact that back in the days when there was no electricity, sweeping in the dark would sometimes result in throwing away of valuable items that couldn’t be seen because of the lack of light.

7) Ghosts Residing In Peepal Tree 

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It is said that if you sleep under a peepal tree, you will be possessed by a spirit and the myth continues to prevail even today but the scientific reason behind this is that the trees use carbon dioxide during the day and release oxygen but during the night time, it is the other way round and when you sleep under a tree during the night, the excess level of CO2 can make you feel heavy in the fest and suffocated which is associated to the feeling of being possessed.

8) Curd And Sugar Will Bring Good Luck 

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It is considered good luck to have curd and sugar before we step out to for some important work but the logical reason behind this is that curd mixed with sugar provides instant glucose and also has a cooling effect on the stomach. Owing to the Indian climate, sugar, and curd keeps you healthy when you step out, often resulting in the completion of the task that you were meant to do.

These myths have been a part of our culture for the longest time ever and the stories behind them are certainly extremely fascinating but so are the logical reasons behind them.

Do you know any such myth and the scientific reason to them? Do let us know about it in the comment section!

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Sukriti Hora

Writer. Reader. Daughter. Lover. Best friend. Dog person.

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