Does Sneezing Mean a Bad Sign? Know Why Sneezing in Different Cultures is Belief a Bad Omen!
Sneezing or sternutation often happens without a warning, is a form of powerful, involuntary expulsion of air from your nose or throat while removing irritants. Sneezing cleans the air you breathe, making sure it’s free of bacteria and dirt. Sneezing can be caused by a handful of things like allergies, nasal dirt, drug withdrawal, viral infections etc.
The purpose of sneeze biologically is completely different from the perspective of some people regarding it.
The association of sneezing and a lot of other things with bad omen and good omen is what the belief system is all about. In some corners of the world sneezing considered as a good sign while in some a bad sign and the corners that are left doesn’t care much about it.
Sneezing in different cultures have a different set of beliefs about it. Good omens and bad omens aside, some cultures predict the future based on the nature or number of sneezes.
In European culture, sneezing is considered as a bad omen because they believed in the Middle Ages that life is tied to breathe and the amount of breath that exiles during a sneeze mean something fatal would occur in the future.
In the culture of Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, sneezing was an indication of Gods plan for the future. In these cultures, sneezing can be both bad and good omen. It can bring good luck as well as misfortune.
Sneezing in Polish culture is considered as a bad omen. They have a very interesting type of belief behind sneezing which is when you sneeze it means that your mother-in-law is talking bad about your, behind your back. And if you are not married then it is said that your relationship with your mother-in-law will be a bad one after you are married. A funny fact is, this superstition is popular in the modern age.
In Italian culture, a cat sneezing is considered good luck, the belief being that it expels bad luck and brings prosperity. Moreover, if a bride hears a cat sneeze on her wedding day, it means she will have a happy marriage. But, if a cat sneezes three times, your whole family will come down with a cold.
In Eastern Asia, there are numerous superstitions related to sneezing. However, a similar belief about sneezing in Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese culture ascribes a great deal to gender. A popular superstition widespread in East Asian countries is if a person is a topic of conversation between some people behind his back, it causes him to sneeze loudly.
Furthermore, the number of sneezes governs if something bad or good is being said. One sneeze means people are saying good things about you; two sneezes in a row means people are saying bad things about you; three sneezes in a row is a sign that someone is in love with you or you may fall in love soon. Four or more sneezes mean a disaster will come upon the person or his family.
Prophetic teachings and tradition govern the Islamic belief system. In Muslim countries it is compulsory for the person that sneezes to say “Al-hamdu- Lillah” which mean “Praise be to God”, and his/her companions should utter the words “Yarhamuk-Allaha” which means "May God have mercy on you" to which the sneezer should respond with “Yahdeekum Allah Wa Yuslihu Baalakum” which means “May Allah guide you”.
Indian Beliefs Associated with Sneezing
In India, as diverse as the country so is its superstitions. India is a country which consists of almost all the major cultures in the world, which lead it to be a country which has numerous amount and variety of superstitions related to sneezing and many other things.
Sneezing is what contemplated as both good omen (“Shakun”) and bad omen (“Apshakun”) according to the situations in India. The most talked-about superstition is when a person leaves his house and somebody or himself sneezes, that’s when it gets a little tricky because it is considered as a bad omen. This actually had scientific reasoning in the past which doesn’t hold in the present and said to be a myth.
Scientific reasons associated with sneezing
A sneeze often is an indication of illness. So, in the days when going to the doctor was not as easy as it is now, sneezing before leaving the house induced fear of the person who is leaving, getting sick or is vulnerable to catch cold. And the fear that the person who is leaving can spread the germs as he ventures out.
This is just a justification of why Indians think about sneezing when they leave home. But this doesn’t hold any scientific significance in the modern era but people are still intrigued about this and follow this by not going out for a few hours or at all. Sometimes they even try to sneeze the second time so that the bad luck turns into good luck.
Indian Jyotisha (Astrologers) experts say that when somebody or you sneeze while you are leaving your house indicates that the time of the work you are going to do is not right and you must delay it. You must wait for a while and when the environment around you seems right then only leave your house.
They imply that sneezes and even hickups are obstructions that come into your body and tell your body to rest for a while and also are an indication that what you are going to do might not turn out as you want, there could be some troubles coming your way and therefore you should wait and let the trouble go away by itself and then leave the house to do your work.
SIGN UP to get such articles directly into your inbox.