Guffgaff: Superstitions

Every society has superstitions, and Nepali happened to have, too. Superstitions are called अन्धविश्वास (andhabishwas) in Nepali. andhabishwas consists of two words, ‘andha’ which means blind and bishwas which means faith or trust. So ‘andhabishwas’ literally means ’Blind Trust’ or ’Blind Faith’.

Here are some noteworthy superstitions you might want to check out:

Whistling at Night: If you whistle during night times, then you are asking the devil or ghost to come over.

Stepping on a book is bad luck: More specifically, books have ‘Saraswati Bhagwan’ (Goddess Saraswati) in them, so if you step on them, it is bad luck unless you ’dhog’ (bow) them.

A Cat crossing the road is bad luck: This is universal. If a cat crosses your road, you must proceed backwards and spit or throw stones. Kind of stupid, really. I just keep walking.  

Leaping over a broom is bad luck: I don’t know why, but if you leap over a broom, then you will have bad luck. Best to avoid this, really.

Cutting nails at night: Legend says that if you cut your nail during night time, then something bad will happen tomorrow.

No spit policy: If someone’s spit accidentally lands on your skin/body, you have to say ‘choko choko’ which I still don’t know what that means

if left eye twitches, it is a bad omen: There are variations for this, but the general belief is that eye twitching is bad. Some says that if your right eye twitches, then it is good luck.

The sound of dog howling: It is said that if a dog ‘cries’ (howls) in front of your house, then someone will die from your family. It is said that the dogs can see the souls of humans, and then they cry after seeing this. Ah—uhh!!!

Playing with fire at night equals urination: This is really wicked. If you play with fire, then you will urinate in bed at night. Most people say this to children.

Odd numbers of food servings: If you are serving yourself food, then you must never put odd serving, for it is said that odd servings are very unlucky. Better go with two or four servings, and even if you kept one serving that feels like it is enough for you, you should always keep a small serving again to make it even.

Dreamy fishes bring money: If you see fishes in your dream, then it means that you will get money. Sounds fishy enough. Also applicable if your hand itches.

Stepping on a pillow: It is said that if you step on a pillow, then you will see bad dreams. Bad nights….

Cawing crows: If a crow happens to caw on your house, then guests will arrive. Caw caw!

Jumping over legs: The legs are considered to be ‘respected’ and crossing over them (especially your seniors) is bad.

A knife over life: If you happened to pass a knife, then you must never give it handle first. Better leave it on the table and they’ll get it themselves! Not only knives, it applies to almost every object!

Touching the neck part: So apparently, if you touch the neck region, you get a goitre. This is literally stupid, and if you happened to touch the neck of another person, then that person has to ‘blow’ your hand to prevent it. Fu-gar!

Banging Head with other People: IF you bang your head accidently with another person’s head, then better bang it again because you will have bad luck if you don’t!