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Superstitions

Jeffrey Candelaria

Hannah Majerczyk, Reporter

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A superstition is a widely held, but unjustified belief, involving supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event. Superstitions are believed widely throughout the world. They can range from knocking on wood to sacrificing goats. Each country and culture has their own special belief.
Some common American beliefs can include black cats, shattered mirrors, ladders and salt. During the Halloween season, these superstitions are revived and brought back into the light. One major item used to decorate during the holiday is Jack-O’-Lanterns. What most overlook is the story behind the name and the pumpkin itself. In a Celtic folklore there is a tale of a drunken farmer whose name was Jack. He was said to trick the Devil which caused him to get rejected from both Heaven and Hell. As he was stuck in the world between, he created a lantern made of a turnip with a lump of coal inside to light his way. The lantern was used to guide his lost soul. Today, Jack-O’-Lanterns. They are believed to guide lost spirits to their homes. In fact, turnips were originally used as the original Jack-O’-Lantern, but were later replaced by the pumpkin.

Another superstition that surrounds Halloween is witches. Witches are said to be satanic and evil, but believe it or not they originated from a Pagan goddess, known as “The Crone.” She was honored during Samhain, a Pagan holiday. She was known as the “old one” or the “earth mother.” She represented wisdom, change and also change of the seasons. Today, “The Crone” has turned into a witch with a cackling laugh and green skin.

Superstitions vary based on the culture, but they appear worldwide. In Turkey, it is very commonly believed that you should not chew gum at night. If you do, it’s said you’re actually chewing human flesh. In Germany, it is recommended to knock on wood when out with friends so the devil cannot posses you. Originally in Germany’s taverns, tables were made of oak, which the devil could not touch. Bats around Halloween are not just a superstition in America, but also in India. It is said that if a bat gets into a house, the person living there is soon to die, because the house is now haunted. The idea is that since ghosts live in the house they let the bat in to warn the house owner to leave. In Slovakia, killing a spider results in a lifetime off bad luck. You should always take it out to be free in nature.

Some superstitions are based on religion, because they believe that is what their God is asking of them. According to Christianity, if a child dies before being baptized they won’t be able to go to heaven. In certain religions, it is believed that bird poop can make you rich. The poop shouldn’t be wiped away, or else the luck will wear off.

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