Despite living in the 21st century we Nepalese have not let go of superstitions and orthodoxies. There are many in Nepal that are still fun to follow while others are not, let us know what your favorite is.
Cats Crossing Path: Wait for passersby to walk ahead of you if cats regardless of color and breed cross your path. Doing this will save one from a series of unfortunate incidents that you could have encountered because a cat crossing your path is considered inauspicious in Nepal.
Throwing stones or spitting on the spot from where the cat treaded is also believed to break the bad spell of the animal. And mind you, the black cat is considered boksi, a witch in Nepal.
Yelping Dog: There will be a death in a family if dogs randomly yelp in front of your house. Nepalese get annoyed at yelping the dog and do everything to chase the dog away instead of finding out whether the dog was hurt.
Cawing Crows: If a crow sits on your terrace or balcony and caws, it means the bird is notifying you about the guests arriving in advance.
Mondays: Nepalese don’t buy or wear new clothes on Mondays because it is believed that the clothes will tear away easily if started wearing them on Mondays.
Tuesdays & Saturdays: Nepalese avoid Tuesdays and Saturdays to start any important work, shifting houses, or embarking on journeys because these days are supposedly ruled by maleficent planets. Also, mothers-daughters do not go apart on Saturdays, doing so the duo could fall ill.
Wednesdays: Wednesdays are considered “Late-days”, no new task is initiated on this day. But purchasing and shifting to new houses on this day is good luck though.
Shoes downside up: The shoes turned downside up will bring you bad luck if not fixed before leaving the house.
Where are you going? Asking “Where are you going?” will supposedly disrupt one’s journey, so better ask “Tadhai?” (are you going very far?)
Yogurt & Sugar Theory: Sweetened Yoghurt is fed to travelers and students before they leave the house to bring lucks in their journey and exams respectively.
Never Pass Chili Directly on Hand: When passing chili of any form does not pass directly on hand or you will get into fight with that person.
Clipping nails at night: Clipping nails at night or even after the evening is considered inauspicious plus losing clipped nails means losing your wealth.
Clipping nails indoors: Refrain from clipping nails indoors or you will lose the house if you lose the snippets of clipped nails.
Shaving Head/Cutting Hair on Birthdays: Saving head or cutting hair on one’s birthday will supposedly shorten their lifespan.
Head bumping: If two heads accidentally bump into each other, the bumping has to be repeated to avoid bad luck.
Touching Neck will give your Goitre: If you touch your neck or somebody else you will immediately have to blow on your fingers or the person whose neck is touched will get a goiter.
Accidental Spit: If you accidentally spit on another person, you have to utter “chokho chokho” (purify this person who I accidentally made jutho by spitting on him) while wiping the spit off that person. Jutho adj. has no exact English word it could loosely translate as the leftover food from your plate or anything that comes in direct touch to your mouth or spit is jutho.
Spit on a clump of hair before tossing: Spitting on a clump of hair before tossing it in a dustbin will save you from spell of witches. Witches are famous for making a voodoo doll with un-spat hair to make a harmful spell on the hair owner. Plus, the hair owner will fall ill if any bird uses his hair to make a nest out of it.
Sitting on a pillow: You will get a severe headache if you sit on a pillow because pillows are for resting heads and not the bottoms.
Eating meals on the bed: Eating meals, specifically dinner sitting on the bed, and missing to pick spilled food from the bed will give you nightmares.
Leaping over a broom: Leaping over a broom will cause the peeling of skins on fingers near nails.
Fire and Children Wetting Bed: If children under 12 play with fire (specifically bonfire) they will supposedly wet their bed.
Stepping/Kicking books/papers: Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge resides in books and papers, so kicking or stepping on/over books is offending the goddess herself. So, Nepalese don’t intentionally do that and when done accidentally is quickly corrected by bowing the book and beseeching forgiveness. Not only that, but it is also believed that stepping on something holy printed on papers such as gods’ and temples’ photos or even rupee bills can bring you bad luck and lead to future misfortunes.
Whistling Indoors: If you whistle by mouth indoors you supposedly will whistle the family wealth out and invite witches and snakes in. Children however are allowed to blow whistles indoors unless the act is not blowing their ears out.
Gifting Mirror: Mirror is considered as one of the unluckiest gifts one can give/receive. And gifting a mirror to a newly wedded couple means inviting bad luck into their married life.
Empty Water Vessels: It is bad luck to see empty water vessels when stepping out of the house, and even more inauspicious if embarking on a long journey. Leaving the house without refilling those empty vessels will lead to road accidents.
Bathing with Clothes on The idea of bathing with clothes on will certainly baffle Westerns. There were bathrooms at houses 50 years ago in Nepal. People would have to bathe, wash clothes and also bring drinking water supplies from the community wells or taps. So normally women/girls wore petticoats and men/boys wore underpants to wash. Only men overserving final rites for their deceased parents must bathe clothes. But this one is not taboo anymore for city people because every house is equipped with bathrooms.
Chilies/Lemon Hangings: Few green chilies and 2 lemons are sewn one after another to make a door hanging and this hanging is usually seen hanging on the shop’s doorway to keep the evil-eyes at bay.
Babies Born on Aunshi: It is believed that babies born on Aunshi or new moon day ill-omened to oneself and his family.
Calling Babies Healthy: Commenting on babies’ health and their chubbiness is frowned upon in Nepal, doing so one will bring sickness to babies and eventually they will lose weight.
Sneezing: Sneezing as you are leaving the house is considered bad luck but sneezing the second time will clear out all the bad lucks.
Twitching eyes: For girls, if the left eye twitches you get good news, and twitching right eye brings bad news, and for guys right brings good news whereas left the bad news.
Itchy Palms: For girls, the itch on left-hand means you gain money and itch on right is you have to suffer expenses. For guys, again just the opposite to girls.
Malamas: “Malamas” is one extra lunar month that occurs ones in every three year and is extremely inauspicious. Below are few of many no-nos during this period;
· No starting new businesses.
· Newly married couple refrain from consummating during malamas because babies conceived during this time is believed to have the ill fate. So brides usually go back to their maternal home.
· No important travels.
· No visiting temples.
· No marriage ceremonies.
· No any important family functions so and so forth.