World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of superstitions in India

Article Id: WHEBN0039002002
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of superstitions in India  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Churel, Superstition in India, Spilling water for luck, The Goodman's Croft, End-of-the-day betting effect
Collection: Superstitions of India
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of superstitions in India

The following are the common superstitions of India.


  • Astrology 1
  • Animals 2
  • Luck and auspiciousness 3
  • Ghosts and other supernatural beings 4
  • Witchcraft 5
  • Sexuality and reproduction 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9


  • Rahukaalam (or Rahu kala) is an inauspicious period of time every day.[1]
  • A person born under the influence of Mars is called a manglik or having Mangal Dosha. People avoid marrying such a person, especially if the person is a woman. Marriage with such a person is believed to cause marital discord and divorce, even sometimes death. However, it is believed that if two mangliks marry, the effects of both cancel out.[2][3]


  • It is believed that snakes can drink milk. During the festival of Nag Panchami, snakes are captured and force-fed milk. As a result, several thousand snakes die annually.[4][5]
  • To see a peacock before a journey is considered auspicious.[6]
  • People believe that lizards are poisonous while in fact they have no poison.
  • If a lizard falls on body, people take a bath.
  • In some parts it is believed that if 3 lizards come towards you, it is sign of marriage but if 4 or more lizards come towards you, it is a sign of upcoming death.[7]
  • If a black cat crosses your way, it is treated to be very bad day. It may harm your work, health and wealth.[8]

Luck and auspiciousness

  • Adding one rupee to a gift sum is auspicious, i.e., sums like 21 or 101 rupees are considered more auspicious than say 20 or 100.[9][10]
  • There are several methods of warding of an "evil eye". Lemon-and-chilli totems are a common method.[11] Mothers put kohl on their babies' face, to ward off evil eye, by making it imperfect.[12]
  • In some parts of India, it is considered inauspicious to sweep the floor at night.[13]
  • Widows are considered inauspicious in many parts of India.[14]
  • Saturdays are considered very inauspicious, as it is associated with the god Shani (Saturn).[15]
  • It is believed that looking in a broken mirror may bring bad luck.[16]
  • People don't have a shave, haircut or cut their nails on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday believing that it is bad luck.[17]
  • Plucking flowers or leaves at night is considered bad luck.

Ghosts and other supernatural beings

  • Peepul trees are believed to be the abode of ghosts and they are avoided at night.[18] Banyan trees are also believed to be inhabited by malevolent spirits.[19]


  • Belief in witches is common in some parts of India. Witches are believed to capable of killing cattle and humans, destroying crops and causing illness. Witch-hunts have been known to happen.[21]
  • In parts of Jharkhand, it is believed that if the name of a witch is written on a branch of a Sal tree, the branch would wither away.[21]

Sexuality and reproduction

  • Dhat syndrome is culture bound syndrome where the sufferer believes he is losing dhat or semen in urine.[24]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^

Further reading

  • Abbott, John (1932). The Keys of Power: A Study of Indian Ritual and Belief. Taylor & Francis. 560 pages.
  • Oman, John Campbell (1908). Cults, Customs and Superstitions of India.
  • Russell, R.V. (1916). The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India (four vols.). London.
  • Thurston, Edgar, C.I.E. (1912). Omens and Superstitions of Southern India.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.