Thesis on superstition

After leaving a wake, do not go straight home lest the ghost of the dead follows you. There are some beliefs of Chinese About Organ Donations. In general, the Chinese believe that the body should remain whole and dissect parts of the body would compromise the integrity of it. Otherwise, you are missing parts. Usualy Chinese serve fish with the head so if you leave the world, you need to be whole too.

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Actually, Asians are very cautious with the body and it is very important that the body is whole. The luckiest number for Chinese is eight because its Chinese word also means "prosper. But the number "9" is good, because nine in Cantonese sounds like the word "sufficient. I was reminded later by my uncle that I should have gotten five because four means death. I am much more careful now and think in terms of five or six when I think of buying gifts that come in sets.

Have you ever refused the number "4" in a phone number, address, license plate, etc.? Through my own experience, my grandmother told me before that never ever try to clip toenails or fingernails at night because it will bring you bad luck; the person will be visited by a ghost. Another thing is if you hearing a crow cawing between 3 and 7am means the hearer will receive gifts; while hearing a crow caw between 7 and 11am means rain and wind; and between 11am and 1pm means quarrels.

Another belief is if you hear a dog howls continuously at night, this means death!

Superstition and human agency - WRAP: Warwick Research Archive Portal

You better believe it! It is believed by the Chinese that during this month, the gates of hell are opened to free the hungry ghosts who then wander to seek food on Earth. Some even think that the ghosts would seek revenge on those who had wronged them in their lives. The reason why the Chinese celebrate this festival is to remember their dead family members and pay tribute to them. They also feel that offering food to the deceased appeases them and wards off bad luck. Another belief among the Chinese is that the dead return to visit their living relatives during the 7th month and thus they prepare a sumptuous meal for the hungry ghosts.


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The Chinese feel that they have to satisfy the ghosts in order to get good fortune and luck in their lives. During the 7th month, the Chinese offer prayers to the deceased relatives and burn joss sticks. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is a common sight to see entertaining wayang shows and concerts performed on outdoor stages in some neighborhoods. These events are always held at night. There is a belief that this entertainment would please those wandering ghosts. An interesting superstition that the Chinese have about the festival is that it is bad to go swimming during the 7th month.

They think that an evil ghost might cause you to drown in the swimming pool. In addition to this, children are also advised to return home early and not to wander around alone at night. This belief is due to the reason that the wandering ghosts might possess children. During the hungry ghosts festival, the Chinese also do a lot of offerings to the deceased. The Chinese feel that these offerings reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their world.

The Chinese regard the 15th of the month as an important date to give a feast to the ghosts. On this date, the family will cook a lot of dishes and offer them to the deceased. This is done to please the ghosts and also to gain good luck for the family. There are innumerable superstitions and practices surrounding the Chinese New Year.


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Some of them have been passed down the centuries from one generation to the other where as some are recent additions. Before New Year's Day, the entire house should be cleaned.

10 Superstitions You Shouldn't Believe..

On New Year's Eve, all brooms, brushes, dusters, dust pans and other cleaning equipment are put away. Sweeping or dusting should not be done on New Year's Day for fear that good fortune will be swept away. After New Year's Day, the floors may be swept. Beginning at the door, the dust and rubbish are swept to the middle of the parlor, then placed in the corners and not taken or thrown out until the fifth day. At no time should the rubbish in the corners be trampled upon. In sweeping, there is a superstition that if you sweep the dirt out over the threshold, you will sweep one of the families away.

Also, to sweep the dust and dirt out of your house by the front entrance is to sweep away the good fortune of the family; it must always be swept inwards and then carried out, then no harm will follow. All dirt and rubbish must be taken out the back door. On the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, every door in the house, and even windows, has to be open to allow the old year to go out.

All debts had to pay by this time. Nothing should be lent on this day, as anyone who does so will be lending all the year. Back when tinder and flint were used, no one would lend them on this day or give a light to others. Everyone should refrain from using foul language and bad or unlucky words. Negative terms and the word "four" Shi , which sounds like the word for death, are not to be uttered.

Death and dying are never mentioned and ghost stories are totally taboo. References to the past year are also avoided as everything should be turned toward the New Year and a new beginning. If you cry on New Year's Day, you will cry all through the year. Therefore, children are tolerated and are not spanked, even though they are mischievous. On New Year's Day, we are not supposed to wash our hair because it would mean we would have washed away good luck for the New Year.

Karma, Clarity, Superstition, And Reality

Red clothing is preferred during this festive occasion. Red is considered a bright, happy color, sure to bring the wearer a sunny and bright future. It is believed that appearance and attitude during New Year's sets the tone for the rest of the year. The first person one meets and the first words heard are significant as to what the fortunes would be for the entire year. It is a lucky sign to see or hear songbirds or red-colored birds or swallows.

It is considered unlucky to greet anyone in their bedroom so that is why everyone, even the sick, should get dressed and sit in the living room. Do not use knives or scissors on New Year's Day as this may cut off fortune. While many Chinese people today may not believe in these do's and don'ts, these traditions and customs are still practiced. These traditions and customs are kept because most families realize that it is these very traditions, whether believed or not, that provide continuity with the past and provide the family with an identity.

Superstition seems to be created from our aversion to back luck and especially death. I know of a couple of friends who will never sleep with their feet facing the door. They tell me that only corpses lie down with their feet facing the door! Soon they will be carried out through that door. My friends said that they have no desire to be corpses yet. So where do your feet face when you sleep? To avoid evil spirits, some people carry good-luck charms in their wallets.

While some hang them on their doors, windows, walls and even inside their cars. How effective these things are not questioned. The point is not to take the risk of finding out. Yet others say that it is definitely bad too see a funeral in progress or to see a dead man. On the lighter side some will say it is bad to take a batch after a meal or to sill salt on the table. Millions of people avoid the number 13 like the plague.

They will not sleep in room 13, or go to the thirteenth floor or have anything to with the number However others swear that 13 is their lucky number. As for me I tend to agree with the latter group.

The Power of Superstition Essays

Now that you have read about some superstitions, do you believe them? If you do not, will you be brave enough to challenge them? This study attempted to address the knowledge gap by examining the relationships among superstitions and Chinese death beliefs on death anxiety in the Chinese context. Superstition was found to be predictor of death anxiety, as expected. With superstitions highly prevalent in Chinese societies, the study has practical implications in end-of-life care, bereavement support, and death education in the Chinese context.

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