Whether we believe in superstitions or not, the fact is that most of us are superstitious. Many of these superstitions may be absurd; but the sense of mystery and awe in these superstitions gives us delight and excitement.
It is quite interesting and amusing to observe some of these superstitions. Old people tell us that on "All souls day" we must keep pots and jars filled with water outside the house and in the compounds, as the thirsty souls of the dead on parole from purgatory on that day, will be coming to drink water.
Now what about the practice of throwing old shoes after the wedding pair as a sign of good luck? There are many such interesting and amusing superstitions. Some superstitions are noted for their element of mystery and awe. An owl making its appearance in our compound or birds flying at the windows is interpreted by old people as a bad omen presaging the death of a relative.
Such fears and awe haunted the minds of the primitive people who could not find an explanation for many of the phenomenon of nature like flood, thunder, rain, and earthquake and so on.
In the absence of a known cause, they attributed all these to the work of some unknown powers, both good and bad.
Man however was not helpless. His ingenuity suggested that through offerings and rituals, he could appease these hidden powers, thereby warding off fearful consequences. In many Asian countries, peasants make offerings to God to appease His wrath, so that there may not be crop failure due to delayed rain.
Superstitions give us a foreknowledge of evil and good. This enables us to take appropriate and timely action by rituals and other means to avert the evil or to welcome and make sure of the good. It is supposed that a bride will bring ill luck if she stumbles on crossing the threshold. But for this there is a remedy. The bridegroom should carry her over. Number thirteen is regarded as an unlucky number. People, therefore, are careful to avoid this number in any of their important dealings. I know of people who even refuse to occupy room number thirteen in hotels. By following superstitions, we are told that we can make sure of good luck and make the future suit us very conveniently. There old shoes after the wedding pair. It can bring good luck to the newly married couple. If the horseshoes is fixed the right way up on the door of the house, good fortune will smile on us. A girl can make sure of handsome husband by eating the last cake on the plate.
Some of these superstitions are humorous. Other is certainly ridiculous. A few are very frightening as well. Generally, they are exciting and interesting, and not as dull and matter of fact as the scientific world of cause and effect. We feel the excitement of fear and the anxiety of bad luck; but they also show a way to avoid danger and bad luck. How happy I would be if I could change the course of my fortune by the simple act of fixing the horse shoe the right way up on the door of my house. Boundless will be the joy of the girl who can get the handsome husband by eating the last cake from the plate. It is the element of fear, anxiety, misfortune and absurdity that makes the world of superstition fascinating and interesting.