Superstition is a pejorative term for any belief or practice that is considered irrational, for example, if it arises from ignorance, a misunderstanding of science or casualty, a positive belief in fate or magic, or fear of that which is unknown.
Any practice tagged irrational or supernatural, for example, if it arises from ignorance or misunderstanding of science, causality or positive believe in faith, magic or fear of what is unknown. It is also commonly applied to believes and practices surrounding luck, prophesy and certain spiritual begins especially believes that certain future events can be foretold by a specific, apparently, unrelated prior events.
The world superstition is often used to refer to a religion not practiced by a majority of a given society regardless of whether the prevailing religion contains alleged superstitions. Many of the believes are just scare tactics to make us behave or act in a certain manner towards ideas and acceptable societal behaviors.
need mention Superstition is not an African thing alone, there are Western superstitions also, in fact, anytime 13th of the month falls on a Friday, that day is celebrated as “Worlds Unluckiest Day”.
The belief is a phobia known as FRIGGATRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA. The fear of number thirteen. 13th is so disliked that some places in the Western word do not have 13th street or 13th avenue. One theory hypothesizes that Friday has been considered unlucky because Jesus was crucified on a Friday and Jesus was the 13th person in the discipleship.
We have some of these stories we call superstitions every African child especially when you grow up in an African household, there is always a superstition or the other that we are exposed to which at a point we discover is a scam. Some of these superstitions were believed until we are adults where you find yourself acting in a certain way.
One of such superstitions are those we have on animals. In some climes, Cats and Owls have suffered this segregation. For instance, it is believed if u see a cat at night especially the black cats, it is possible you may have seen a witch who is out to harm. For the Owl, it is generally believed if an Owl hoots around a particular area, somebody will die from that location, also, people are not allowed to make the Owl sounds especially at night, the person will likely die.
Some people do not grow up in a superstitious but our society could make one get superstitious. Some parents bring up these superstitions to make the children grow up to behave in a certain way.
Another hilarious superstition is on Umbrella, it is believed if you use an umbrella indoor, it will rain on your wedding, as a child, one will tend to believe. The reason for this funny umbrella story is the parents do not want us to damage the umbrella.
Another is on hiccups. It is believed if you have hiccups, a white thread must be placed on the forehead to make it stop. This believe is most common among African Nursing mothers. Meanwhile, the actual cure for hiccups is clean water.
We have another funny superstition about itching on the palm, it is believed if the right palm itches you, means you should expect some monetarily gift while the left is tagged you will spend some money soon.
If you hit your leg, the side of the leg you hit has different connotations, if for instance you hit the right leg, something good id coming while the left means something bad may happen soon. Unconsciously wearing your cloth inside out is believed to be a sign of good luck.
Funny enough, we religiously follow many of these things unconsciously especially when we were younger, some of these superstitions may be as scary as when one mistakenly swallows an orange seed, it is believed the tree will grow on the hair.
When one erroneously kills a duck especially with a vehicle, we were made to believe we must put a coin in the mouth cos that buys its soul to avoid accidents from that vehicle. Now that the usage of coins in Nigeria is extinct, what do we put in the dead Ducks mouth?
Superstitions in the real sense are a part of everyday life in almost all cultures of the world.
Although advances in science have caused many to grow cynical, many still believe that such superstitions have a logical explanation.
In Africa, the perception of the supernatural seems do natural that it is the natural that becomes supernatural. The consequence is that everyone always tries to find an irrational explanation to every phenomenon. And when a satisfactory explanation cannot be found, the cause is attributed to the mood of a divinity, annoyed by the infringement of a customary law.
From the forgoing, superstitions depends on where that particular set of people live, the beliefs handed down the generation.