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Superstitions - scary or not - are worldwide

by Jayme Haitsuka, Lifestyles editor


After a black cat crossed their path, a couple of Swedish students jokingly spit three times over their left shoulder. Are they nuts? No, they were merely warding off the bad luck that would come to them, because of the cat, if they didn’t spit.

Maybe you have seen an old Japanese man or woman on Fort Street Mall smile, instead of swear, when a pigeon pooped on their head—since to them that’s a sign of good luck for the rest of the day.

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Halloween celebrations call our attention to superstitions, but it is not the only time we observe them. Nor is America the only country in the world to do so.

Superstitions vary from country to country, and sometimes from town to town, and some have historical and religious explanations, while others can’t be explained. For instance, the superstition of walking under a ladder is bad luck because the shadow the ladder casts is a triangle, a sign of the Holy Trinity, and walking through it would seem sacrilegious. On the happier end of the spectrum, in Las Vegas many gamblers from Hawai‘i wear decorative frog charms and clothing because they think it will bring them good luck. The word for “frog” and the word for “return,”in Japanese, are the same: kaeru.

The following, courtesy of HPU students and some Web sites, lists just a few of the millions of superstitions around the world.

Filipino Superstitions
• If you marry a person who has a mole beside his or her nose, you will die ahead of that person.
• Wearing polka dots on New Year’s Eve brings lots of money in your pocket because the dots symbolize coins. African Superstitions
• If a girl or woman is hit with trousers, she will not find a husband.
• If a boy or man is hit with a woman’s head scarf, he will not find a wife.

Chinese Superstitions
• Beating a person with a broom will rain bad luck upon that person for years. The curse can only be removed by rubbing the hit area several times.
• One should never clip toes or finger nails at night because an evil ghost will visit you that evening.

Swedish Superstitions
• On a mid-summer night, Swedish girls often pick seven flowers and place them under their pillows because the man they dream of that evening will be the man they’ll marry.
• When returning home, never leave your keys on the table because you’ll have bad luck.

Hawaiian Superstitions
• Never bring pork over the Pali because you’ll have bad luck.
• Never take any kind of volcanic materials from the islands because you’ll have bad luck until the materials are returned. Irish Superstitions
• Make sure to form the sign of the cross over your mouth when yawning or else an evil spirit will enter your body and take it over.
• If a man on his way to work meets a red headed woman, he will surely forget about his labors and go home.



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