Check out These 10 Superstitions From Asia!

In current times, many people avoid tradition and folklore in lieu of scientific evidence. While some superstitions may seem far-fetched or are rarely practiced, such as avoiding black cats or not rinsing your hair on exam day, these beliefs do offer insight into the history and traditions of different cultures. Check out these 10 cool superstitions from Asia, and please post any other superstitions (with country of origin) in the comment section below!

1.      The word “four” (si) in Chinese is considered unlucky, because if it is pronounced with a different tone, it means “death”  (Source: personal knowledge). The number 8 is considered a very lucky number, because its pronunciation is similar to the word for “lucky” or “fortunate”. In 2003, Sichuan airlines paid 2.3 million yuan in order to reserve the auspicious telephone number 8888-8888 (Source: Economic Times)

 

2.      In some parts of Bhutan, it is considered ill-fortune to sell needles or other sharp, pointy objects after sunset  because it will either shorten your life or cause a dispute (Bhutan Majestic Travel)

3.      If they awake from a bad dream, some Georgians will not speak to anyone until they have brushed their teeth. This is so that the badness from the dream can be cleaned away and the dream will not come true (Falkor ICY)

 

4.      Among the Sinhalese (an ethnic group that compromise about ¾ of Sri Lanka’s population) tt was once popular practice for the new born to be feed golden milk. Here, one would gently grind part of a golden object (such as jewelry) and then mix it with a mother’s breast milk. At a predetermined auspicious time, this is put on the baby’s tongue so that it will prevent disease and ensure a long life ( Folklore and Folkloristics)

5.      The name of the popular Kit Kat chocolate bar is similar to the Japanese phrase for “you will definitely succeed” ( “kitto katsu”). As such, many students will take a Kit Kat bar to a major exam for good luck, or eat one right before the exam starts. Due to its high popularity in Japan, there are over 80 flavors of Kit Kat available (source: Modern Tokyo Times)

6.      In Singapore, individuals may knock on the door of an unoccupied room before entering, so that they will not disturb any spirits that entered the room while they were gone ( Inquirer Lifestyles)

 

7.      It was once in poor taste to compliment babies in Thailand. It was believed that if you said a baby was adorable or lovable, evil spirits would harm the baby or take him away from his parents. Instead, you should remark on the baby’s poor looks and demeanor, so that the parents could keep the child and evil spirits would look elsewhere. To further ensure the baby’s safety, family members wold give children unsavory nicknames, such as “Pig” or “Fat”(Source: Chiang Mai City News)

 

8.      Some believe that if you meet a girl carrying a bucket of water or firewood on her back while you are on a journey of some kind, your mission will be successful. Some Bhutanese consider this to be a bad omen, and will immediately turn back if they encounter the girl (Bhutan: Ways of Knowing)

 

9.      For some Laotians, putting a sharp knife underneath your bed will keep away bad dreams and malevolent spirits (Southeast Asia Resource Action Center)

 

10.  Some Koreans refuse to wash their hair on the day of an important exam or presentation, as they fear it may rinse out important information and memories for the test (TOPICS Online Magazine)

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Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple is Dedicated to the Buddha’s Tooth

Did you know that a temple in Sri Lanka is dedicated to one of the Buddha’s teeth? The Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple ( “The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic”) is located in the royal palace in Kandy, Sri Lanka. In order to view the tooth, one must pass through a series of rooms and tunnels, until one reaches the ground floor of the temple. The inner chamber of the temple is enclosed behind an ivory and bronze-inlaid door.

The tooth itself is located in a chamber in the upper floor – the Vadahitina Maligawa – which is enclosed behind a door inlaid with ivory, gold, and silver. It rests within seven jewel-studded golden caskets that were given by several rulers. To the left of the relic is the taxidermied Maligawa Tusker (elephant) named Raja, who carried the golden caskets for over five decades and was declared a national treasure in 1984. To the relic’s right is a relic chamber called the Perahara Karanduwa, over which hangs a golden, jewel-encrusted lotus.

The Buddha’s tooth is one of the most sacred objects to  Buddhists worldwide. Buddha’s second tooth is believed to be kept in a stupa (religious monument/ reliquary) called Somawathi Chethiya.

If you would like to read more about Sri Dalada Maligawa, Dalada Maligawa.org offers a wealth of information about the temple and relic’s history: http://daladamaligawa.org/sri.dalada.maligawa.htm