03 April 2012

The Bath Curse And Other Lenten Superstitions

Filipinos are a naturally superstitious people. Many believe that supernatural forces have a hold over certain events and actions. That explains why some Pinoys refrain from sweeping the house at night; they risk driving away their blessings. Or why holding coins in hand at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Day is a sure-fire way of gaining good fortune.
The Catholic Church has long frowned on superstitions, calling them "a perverse excess of religion." But that has not stopped many of the faithful from embracing superstitious beliefs.

In the Philippines, Lent has always been a season that is replete with superstition. Many Filipinos believe, for example, that anyone who bathes on Good Friday will be cursed with some kind of sickness.
Here are other Holy Week superstitions:
• Faith healers make it a point to scour the forest or mountain on Good Friday for herbs, believing such plants will be twice as effective as a medicinal concoction or anting-anting (amulet).
• Placing a palm frond blessed on Palm Sunday by a door or window will keep away demons and assorted evil spirits.
• The ashes of blessed palm fronds, when mixed with coconut oil, is a potent elixir for headaches, stomach aches and rashes.
• If you cut yourself on Good Friday, the wound will take a long time to heal.
• Cutting wood or using a hammer or knife on Good Friday and Holy Saturday, when Jesus Christ is dead, will bring about misfortune.
• Grilling fish on Good Friday will result in black freckles in your face.
• Children who wander into the forest or thick undergrowth are in danger of being placed under the spell of evil spirits who seek to possess their soul.
• Children who are "flogged" with the prickly branch of the makabuhay (tinaspora rumphii) vine will be well-behaved and immune to attacks by evil spirits or demons.
• Rain falling on Easter Sunday is considered holy water and has healing powers.
By CHEL QUITAYEN Balita Reporter




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