Week 3: Equator Crossing

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    Marblehead, MA USA

    Sailors crossing the equator for the first time often go through a “Crossing the Line” ceremony to earn the blessing of King Neptune. During the ceremony, an experienced sailor dresses as King Neptune and smears old food, or dirty bilge water, onto the first-time initiate, encouraging humility.

    What traditions and ceremonies do you and your family observe (political, religious, or personal)? What is the purpose of these traditions and ceremonies? How do you observe them?



    I have searcherd some funniest superstitions around the world, and would like to share it here.

    Broken dishes are collected and saved year-round, to be thrown at the houses of friends and family on New Year’s Eve. The bigger the pile of porcelain, the more good fortune the recipients will have in the New Year.

    It is good luck to step in dog poop with your left foot, but bad luck to step in it with your right foot (and while no one seems to know the origin of this belief, it may explain the abundance of canine land mines scattered throughout the country).

    Life’s treacherous for a mom. For example, if you walk with only one shoe on, sweep the floor at night, move around on your knees, or eat the tops of watermelons and/or grapefruits… then you may have already brought about the untimely death of your mother.

    Children are warned to hide their stomachs during thunderstorms, especially before sleeping. It is believed that if you are not careful, Raijin (the god of thunder) will steal and eat your belly button during a storm.

    Particularly around the state of Vermont, many 19th century farmhouses were built with slanted “witch windows,” due to the commonly-held belief that witches could not fly their brooms into a tilted opening.

    A pregnant woman can determine the gender of her unborn baby by throwing a dead snake up in the air. If the snake lands on its back, the baby will be a girl. If it lands upright, the baby will be a boy.

    This is one of the most popular superstitions of the world. It is present in almost every country in different version. The most renowned versions are, “if you feel itchy on your right palm, it means that you are going to get some money and it will stay with you forever.” Although, if your left palm itches, it means that you have the possibility of getting money but it will not last for long. Some people say that if your palm itches, you should kiss it and make a circle with your palm over your forehead. This will bring the money faster. However, if you feel like scratching both palms, then it is better for you to consult a dermatologist because no belief has been derived for it yet.

    source : http://distractify.com/old-school/2014/10/21/very-superstitious-1197796927



    We observe many traditions and beliefs. Out of them, the most common in India are “If a black cat crosses your path, it’s a bad omen.” Not just in India, but it is believed in the west, too. It is said that if this happens, one should not go that way and wait for some other person to go from there, then the whole bad luck will shift to that person. in my point of view this sounds selfish. and there is no mistake of the cat.

    It is believed that “breaking of mirror brings bad luck”.

    “Twitchling of eye is inauspicious” but this is just not possible as there can be many scientific reasons behind it like alcohol, tiredness, stress etc.

    “Removing the evil eye” is considered widely in India. Putting a black spot on the left side of a child’s forehead is very common. It is done to protect the little one from evil eye.

    It is said that “One should not sweep after sunset.” It will make goddess Lakshmi (goddess of wealth) walk out of your house.

    “Adding one rupee to a gift sum” is a thing that almost everyone does in india. On weddings and special occasions, we Indians generally like to gift money and it won’t be 100 or 1,000 but 101 or 1,001. We add one rupee coin to the entire sum. It is considered a blessing, love and luck. But, the main reason to add that extra coin is to make the entire sum an odd number and it will be indivisible, it is good for the married couple. If we don’t add one rupee coin, the sum will end in a zero which means ‘the end.’

    These were some of the typical beliefs from India.



    I have a keen interest in finding lesser known mythological tales.

    1. In India the cow is sacred because she is the one who gives us her milk; her dung is used for energy generation; and her sons the bulls are are used as drought animals. After her death, her skin and bones are used for both medicinal and economical purposes.

    2. According to the Hindu Mythology, Brahma who is the creator of our universe, is not worshiped because he forgot the reason why he created this universe. Instead he desired other things and disrespected his female-counterpart.

    3. In Islam, pigs are undesirable because the Muslims believe that their fore-limbs are in heaven and the back ones are in the hell.

    4. In Assam, a north-eastern state of India, a wedding of frogs is organized to call the God of rain, because they believe the rains only comes when the frog croaks, and the frog only croaks when mating. So a proper wedding function for the frogs is organised in which both the male and female frogs are dressed like a groom and bride.



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