Today 05 July 2022
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Should you believe in superstition?

Despite the fact that mankind today has reached a very high level of civilisation and technological development, people still believe in superstitions. In this regard, many people will probably be interested to know what such beliefs are and what their underlying essence is.

What are the causes of superstition

In ancient times, people did not understand many of the physical phenomena occurring in the world around them, although they had a direct impact on the lives of entire peoples. However, they were able to discern dependencies between different phenomena, to why the right eye itches meant something would happen. By deducing certain patterns, the first beliefs emerged, which began to be gradually passed down from generation to generation.

It is also an important fact that, in the olden days, many incomprehensible phenomena occurred spontaneously and people could not explain their causes. Thunderstorms and lightning, fires, hail, drought - all these and many other things could lead not only to difficulties, but also to the death of an entire tribe from famine, fire or cold. Consequently, people often attributed all these phenomena to divine conduction, as well as to various spirits residing in the environment.

Why superstitions can be useful

It is important to understand that many superstitions have real knowledge underneath them, so they could often protect people from trouble. This was especially important in ancient times, when the development of medicine was at a low level and people did not have a deep scientific knowledge of certain physical phenomena.

No wonder why people believed that many dangerous places were inhabited by spirits that should be respected lest they ruin the traveller. Examples of such beings included leshimora, kikimora, watermen and many others that lived in the woods, marshes, mountains and elsewhere. Examples of omens that can still be found among modern people include the following:

  • "If you take bread out of the oven and it turns over, it's for profit;
  • "If one does not finish a piece of bread and breaks off another, one of his relatives will suffer hunger;
  • "If you drop bread or crumbs on the floor, expect hunger and a poor harvest.

The proof that many superstitions aimed at preserving health and life is the parable that "it is a sin for decent people to bathe after Ilyin day (2 August)". In practice this was due to the fact that in August the water in central Russia was getting very cold, so children had to be protected from getting into the water. Otherwise one could catch a cold and fall ill.

An interesting sign is a negative attitude to spilling salt on the floor, as it was believed that it leads to quarrels between people. However, as noted by well-known researcher and compiler of the explanatory dictionary of the Russian language Vladimir Dahl, this superstition is due to the fact that salt was very expensive. It is for this reason that if it spilled on the floor, it inevitably led to conflict in the family.

Conclusions

As may be noted, many superstitions had a basis in the preservation of life and health, not only for adults but also for children. At the same time, many of their superstitions originated from the fact that adults wanted to protect their children from actions that could lead to a danger to their health. Today, however, almost all superstitions have entered the culture of the people and have largely become part of the folklore of the Russian people.

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