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yau:I just got a "shocking" news from my friend. In the old day, the generation of my mother believed that menstruated women should avoid washing hair. I though it was only the legend in China (or southern china) only, but my friend told me that old french women practiced it too. What a wonderful cultural common!
I'm wondering if there's more common legends shared in different cultures too. Here's my attempt to show some chinese legends, hope to see more from your cultures.
In hong kong,
1. men should avoid eating any cooked egg overnight, otherwises their ...hmm.. testicles would be ....tumefied.
2. Everybody should avoid wearing socks for sleep, or you'd be blind!
3. Never eat dog meat with mung bean together, you'd die! (hmm, hongkong banned it long time)
4. Never drink milk with lemon, you'd suffer diarrhea.
5. Never see any pregant women or monks when you gamble, it's bad luck.
6. Never open an umbrella indoor. Ghost would follow you.
To avoid bad luck...
1) Don't cross the path of a black cat.
2) Don't walk under a ladder.
3) Don't spill salt (and if you do, then immediately throw a bit over your shoulder).
4) Don't step on cracks in the street or sidewalk.
5) Avoid seeing your bride or groom before the ceremony on your wedding day.
6) Don't break a mirror.
In Japan you should never cut your finger nails at midnight, or kill spiders.
You can't eat tofu with honey in HK. The combination is supposed to be deadly. Whatever.
I have heard of the first two and number 5. haha
Pregnant women should not cut anything with a knife (like vegetables, fruits etc) on a new moons day. It is believed that if she does, the child she bears will have a deformed lip (a lip with a cut).
Milk or milk based dishes/desserts should not be consumed along with/after eating fish. If you do, you will suffer from Leucoderma (skin pigmentation).
Widows/barren women must never attend auspicious ceremonies held during marriages / childbirth , as it is believed they will spread their bad luck to others.
During their menstrual cycle, women are not supposed to touch pickles (the pickles will spoil). They also do not engage in various household chores. In some religions, they are just made to sit in a corner of the room.
One must not sit on a pillow (the one that you use when you sleep). If you do, you will end up in debt.
I have the same rule about pillows in my house, but in my case the concern is flatulence[W] rather than debt.
yau:Thanks for opening my horizons! It's so good to hear so many old wives tales. It seems that pregnant or mensturated women are common target of these tales in different cultures.
Just to add some more:
Chinese bride and groom also avoid seeing others before ceremony. In the old day, bride or groom were chosen by parents, and I guess this tradition may help prevent sons/daughter fleed from the ceremony.
(Hey YoungCalfornia, thanks for telling me the vocab. It's useful! )
It is necessary to look into the mirror once more, if you have to come back home to take something left behind, so that the day wouldn't be spoiled.
People shouldn't talk to each other in the doorways, with the threshold separating them - otherwise they will have a quarrel.
Unmarried girsl shouldn't sit at the table's corner - they will never get married or marry a humped man
If your nose itches - it a sign of a forthcoming party with a lot of drinks
The journey is going to be great if it rains on the day you leave
These are all I can remember at the moment. You can see funny things are wide-spread in different cultures. I wonder where they come from
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