It wouldn’t hurt you to believe, they say.
So, you avoid sweeping at night, regardless of how dirty your house is, because you wouldn’t want to sweep your luck away. We don’t take home food from wakes, don’t use mirrors, don’t cry on top of the coffin, and don’t go home directly after going to a wake. These are just some of the many don’ts in our Filipino belief system.
But, don’t worry, it’s not just us. Other nations have strange superstitions as well. And here are eight from one of our neighboring countries – China. Why eight? Read on to find out why.
1. No to Ukay-ukay
Unlike Filipinos, Chinese don’t like second hand things. They believe that the bad luck of the former owner will be passed on to them through the ‘old’ things.
But that skirt and blouse that you bought from “UK” were surely worth it.
2. Deathly White
Contrary to the Western culture belief that black is the color of death; Chinese believes that it is white. It comes from the ancient tradition of wearing white at funerals. For some time, it has been rare to see brides wearing white dresses because older Chinese deem it inappropriate.
Finally! An excuse to wear black even on wedding days!
3. Facing North
It’s bad fēng shuǐ, Chinese folks say. They don’t build structures with openings facing the north because it is rooted in their ancient belief that the north represents darkness, evil, and bad luck. And who wants bad luck in their properties?
4. Long noodles
It’s probably where the Filipinos got their belief that pansit should be a staple in birthday celebrations. In Chinese tradition, the longer the noodles are, the better. Noodles shouldn’t be cut down when prepared because the uncut noodles will increase longevity. And cutting them is the same as ‘cutting the longevity.’
So, here’s to more pansit in our birthdays!
5. Slow turtles
Turtles are slow animals. And for that same reason, Chinese people don’t like to keep them as pets. They believe that turtles will ruin the home owner’s business and fortune as it slows business down.
But the turtle won the race against the hare, right?
6. Age matters
Age is not just a number in the Chinese culture. It is believed that if you marry a person three or six years older than you are, then you and your partner will have bad luck.
What would it be for you? Years of bad luck or true love?
7. Bad beards
They must not like Santa Claus that much because Chinese folks believe that a man should always keep a well-shaven face. Moustaches are allowed but it should be well-trimmed. Because any facial hair that looks shabby is considered bad luck.
So who brings gifts to them on Christmas?
8. Lucky Number
In the Chinese belief, “sì (四)” or four, sounds a lot like their word for death “sǐ (死)”, so it is a very unlucky number for them. On the other hand, they consider eight a lucky number. This is because “bā (八)” (eight), sounds a bit like “fā (发)”, a shortened version of “fā cái (发财)” which means to get rich.
I wonder how many eights there were in that winning lotto number.